Jewell Impressed With Squad So Far
Saturday, 15th Jan 2011 10:17
New manager Paul Jewell says he has been impressed with what he has seen of his Town squad so far. The Blues boss took over on Thursday when he and new coach Sean McCarthy ran a light training session before a more significant workout on Friday.
Jewell said: “It’s going to take a while for me to make a proper appraisal of it, but I’ve been very impressed with the attitude and the quality that I’ve seen so far. We had a bit of a recovery session on Thursday, so Friday was the first real day we had them.
“It was lively, it was a good tempo and hopefully we can take that into the games because the league matches are our bread and butter.”
Jewell reiterated that all the current squad will be given their chance, but that he will look to make signings in the positions he feels need strengthening: “Everyone wants to improve and I’d love to give everybody an opportunity.
“Things happen in the transfer window that perhaps you didn’t see happening. I’ve got a completely open mind. If I think we need strengthening in certain areas and if the right player is out there at the right price, we’ll endeavour to do that. But that would be the same if we were top of the league.
“It’s always important to try and improve what you’ve got, if you can. The offices are closed at the weekend, so nothing will happen on Saturday and Sunday. We want to get the players who are here to improve as well, maybe come out and show a bit more than they have so far.”
The new boss, who says Town have received no recent bids for their players and at the moment all offers would be rebuffed, admits that he’s not yet familiar with all his squad, particularly the youngsters, but hopes to get to know them better next week when there’s no midweek game: “It’s been such a whirlwind that I’ve got to take stock.
"I’m really pleased we’ve got a free week next week so we can have a right good week on the training ground, get to know the players a bit better and then make decisions as and when.”
After two years out of management the 46-year-old felt the old habits returning during the Arsenal game even though he was only an observer from the stands: “I still kicked every ball, I thought the clock had stopped about 20 times in the last 10 minutes. It was great and a great atmosphere for the fans. Everyone was so pleased, the players were delighted and it was a big night for the club.
“One of the main reasons I came here was for big nights like that more often, but there’s a lot of hard work ahead to be able to do that. However, it gives everyone a taste of what it’s like to play in those big, huge matches on a regular basis rather than as one-offs.”
Jewell says he believed he could learn more about the squad by taking a step back on Wednesday: “I wanted to have a watching brief without any responsibilities, seeing it how it really is. Sometimes you can make more objective or better decisions when you’re higher up and not on the touchline and not involved fully.
“On Thursday morning the players were obviously upbeat, but we’ve put that to bed now. That’s gone, we’ve got to look forward to Millwall.”
The new Town manager says his Lions counterpart has impressed him: “I think Kenny Jackett’s done a really good job down there. He’s been there a couple of seasons now and he’s really got them playing.
“It’s typical of this league, they’re a good team and this league is so tight that you couldn’t call too many games this season.”
Meanwhile, former Blues loanees Jack Colback and Andros Townsend have been linked with moves to Leeds and Watford respectively. Townsend's season-long spell from Spurs was cut short before Christmas, while Colback returned to Sunderland shortly before the change of manager at Portman Road.
Photo: Action Images
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