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Jewell: Town Can't Feel Sorry for Themselves at Birmingham
Jewell: Town Can't Feel Sorry for Themselves at Birmingham
Wednesday, 11th Jan 2012 11:37

Ipswich boss Paul Jewell says he and his players can’t afford to go into games feeling sorry for themselves, despite sitting in 20th place in the Championship and on a run which has seen them win only two of their last 13 matches. The Blues, who are still waiting on defensive target Sean St Ledger,are in action at Birmingham tonight in a match rearranged from earlier in the season due to the Midlanders’ Europa League campaign (KO 7.45pm).

Jewell says he and his squad need to have an optimistic outlook if they are to turn things around: “It would be telling lies to say that we’re all doing cartwheels at the moment, we’re not, but if we go into games feeling sorry for ourselves and down on ourselves and negative, we’ll lose.

“We’ve got to try and remain positive and upbeat, it’s not easy, but that’s the way life is, never mind football, there are plenty of ups and downs in life. We’ve all had ups and downs in life and it’s how you bounce back from the lows which make you the person that you are.”

Saturday’s 3-1 FA Cup loss at Hull City left the Blues boss bemoaning more calamitous defending: “We gave the third away with the last kick of the game, but the first two goals we conceded were very poor goals.

“We showed character in the second half and had two good opportunities to equalise but – and I say this every week – we have to stop giving these goals away.

“I’ve never known a season like it where at every half-time team-talk we’re always two or three goals down.”

Jewell is facing selection decisions with Lee Bowyer (groin), Damien Delaney (foot) and Jimmy Bullard (ill) all sidelined, Ívar Ingimarsson’s contract ripped up and Keith Andrews returned to Blackburn, while Andy Drury is available again having been cup-tied and keeper Alex McCarthy has been added on loan from Reading.

Josh Carson, Luke Hyam and Tommy Smith were involved at Hull and all three are likely to be in the 16: “Josh has been in and around the team for most of the season. Luke and Tommy came in in a difficult situation where they haven’t played a lot of first team football.

“I thought Luke did OK and Tommy was steady. It’s not an ideal preparation with illness and injury stretching us at the moment.”

Asked whether the next two games are key to his future, he says it’s a case of approaching each match on its own terms: “We’ve just got to take each game on its own merits. We’ve got a tough game tomorrow and after that we’ll have another tough game on Saturday.”

Jewell has confirmed that new keeper Alex McCarthy will replace Arran Lee-Barrett in goal with Aaron Cresswell and Carlos Edwards unlikely to be moved from their full-back roles.

At the centre of the defence, it seems likely that Tommy Smith will start alongside Ibrahima Sonko. Talks regarding Sean St Ledger’s loan-with-a-view-to-a-permanent-deal recruitment are understood to be still ongoing - almost certainly with other clubs as well as Town - with the Irishman needing to be signed by 4.45pm this evening to be available for tonight’s match.

However, even if he does put pen to paper in time, with the Leicester centre-half yet to train with the squad, he may be only be included on the bench.

In midfield, Jewell is likely to stick with skipper Grant Leadbitter in the centre and Daryl Murphy on the left but needs to decide whether to recall Andy Drury in place of Hyam in the other central role and whether to bring back Lee Martin instead of Josh Carson on the right.

The Town boss will probably go with experience in both cases with Hyam and Carson likely to be on the bench.

Up front, with Jewell feeling that Michael Chopra is short of confidence, Jason Scotland will partner Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.

Birmingham boss Chris Hughton says his team are going into significant period of the season: “If you took the season in blocks of months, the next month is always the most important one.

“If we have a strong month results-wise it puts us in a great position, if we don’t then we’ve got the next month to make up for that.

"There is always that possibility to finish strong in this division. We have seen teams before who have picked up a series of results, notably Blackpool and Burnley, in the past.

“But, of course, if you are in a good position with still a fair amount of time to go then it’s about sustaining and maintaining that position.

“I wouldn’t say there’s any more pressure than usual on us. There is still so much football to play when you think we are only halfway through a season. It seems more, but we’re only halfway through.”

Birmingham captain Stephen Carr is out with a knee problem, while central defender Pablo Ibanez, one of the many centre-halves targeted by Town in the summer, is a big doubt, also with a knee problem.

Defender Liam Ridgewell is over a back spasm and winger Chris Burke returns to the squad after the recent birth of his son.

Loanee midfielder Guirane N'Daw is with Senegal's squad for the African Cup of Nations, while striker Chris Wood, a team-mate of Tommy Smith with New Zealand, has returned to West Brom after his loan ended.

Tonight’s game is the first time the sides have met since Boxing Day 2008 when a James McFadden penalty eight minutes before half-time condemned Town to their second successive home defeat as Birmingham left Portman Road with a 1-0 victory. The spotkick had been awarded for handball by Moritz Volz.

Earlier in the season at St Andrew’s, goals from Liam Ridgewell and Kevin Phillips gave the Midlanders a 2-1 victory over Town, Alex Bruce netting a late goal against his former club.

Historically, the Blues have had the better of Birmingham, winning 30 times (27 in the league), drawing 11 (11) and losing 26 (20). The Midlanders are in 14th in the Championship, six places and seven points ahead of the Blues, having played a game more. Chris Hughton’s men are the only side still undefeated at home in the Championship.

Town midfielder Lee Bowyer, who won't be involved against his old club, spent 18 months with Birmingham, initially on loan before signing on a free transfer from West Ham, prior to joining the Blues in the summer. Other than Bowyer, no one currently in either squad has represented this evening's opposition.

Tonight’s referee is Rob Lewis from Shrewsbury, who has shown 44 yellow cards and three reds in 14 games so far this season. Lewis hasn’t refereed a Town game since March 2007 when he took control of the Blues’ 2-1 home victory over QPR in which he booked Dan Harding and two visiting players.

Squad from: McCarthy, Lee-Barrett, Wright, Edwards, Cresswell, Sonko, Smith, Ainsley, Leadbitter, Drury, Hyam, Murphy, Martin, Carson, Scotland, Emmanuel-Thomas, Chopra, Ellington.

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Flightmech added 11:53 - Jan 11
While i feel Jewell is already on borrowed time, I think the fat lady is warming up. A win or draw tonight might just save him for a bit, but another loss and surely not even Clegg and Evans will be dumbarsed enough to keep him? Will they? :-(

tractorboybig added 11:55 - Jan 11
Birmingham undefeated at home.
Best home scoring record.
Town worst defence in league.
Is it another peterborough?????

Wallingford_Boy added 11:57 - Jan 11
A defeat tonight will make no difference at all, Jewell is going nowhere.

Blue041273 added 12:00 - Jan 11
It begs the question as to what frame of mind the players were in any of our previous 13 games and, in view of the performances, why.

SWBlue86 added 12:06 - Jan 11
Come on town another performance like @ West Ham earlier in the season. We know you can do it! COYB!

uppersirbob added 12:12 - Jan 11
Thats what we nees swblue but can we do it is another question

for me i doubt it

but i will be there !

irishtim added 12:14 - Jan 11
cmon lads give us a performance to be proud of. just dont give away silly goals. tear into them give tham no time on the ball fight for itfc.

irishtim added 12:14 - Jan 11
cmon lads give us a performance to be proud of. just dont give away silly goals. tear into them give tham no time on the ball fight for itfc.

saffronblue added 12:17 - Jan 11
Personally I would keep Hyam in the team and replace Leadbitter with Drury. Carson on the left and Martin on the right. Feel sorry for ALB as I don't think he has done much wrong and what is going to happen in three months when McCarthy goes back?

pazelle added 12:22 - Jan 11
Moritz Volz! Forgot about him!

Surco72 added 12:32 - Jan 11
Scotland ,Jet

Lets play a right back at right back ,the defence isnt working Paul stop changing the centre backs and look at the weak link out wide that they are having to cover constantly . Edwards is probably our best productive winger let him play there ,Hyam will offer more protection than Leadbitter to the back four ,Drury will add more attacking option than Leadbitter so drop Leadbitter and let Cresswell take the free kicks and corners .
Jet must be due a goal in a shock 1-0 win for the Town tonight

northstand78 added 12:34 - Jan 11
Gone very quiet on the St Leger front..Maybe he's had a better offer from a pub team!!

legoman added 12:37 - Jan 11
Biggest hammering of the season coming up. Brace yourselves.

UsualSuspect added 12:39 - Jan 11
Writings on the wall as far as tonights result goes.
Sincerely hope I'm proved wrong.

Mark added 12:40 - Jan 11
The manager has to stay positive. Would we prefer he grows a beard and goes into a sulk?

To give the fans and team a lift Paul, why not sign some of the young, hungry players that have been spoken about? We need evidence of a proper long-term plan if we are to forgive awful short-term form!

naa added 12:41 - Jan 11
Surco: not sure I agree that Ainsley is the answer, but I do agree with the sentiment that it isn't all the centre-backs fault. With all the combinations he's tried there must be some other reason why it's not been working. I agree that we need a right-back who can defend and let Edwards play on the right of midfield. Couple that with a decent centre-back (St Ledger would fit that bill) and maybe a holding midfielder and I think we'd be OK.

bostonusablue added 12:41 - Jan 11
So it looks like we're going to miss out on St. Ledger yet again. I am so disillusioned with our club right now, like most people. I just don't understand why we are so low in the table with the current crop of players that we have. On paper, we have a decent squad, but I guess that means nothing. I'm still undecided whether to sack Jewell or not. I would take Warnock for sure.

since1990 added 12:42 - Jan 11
I share the same thought as irishtim. . . We're underdogs but let's give a solid performance. We must give 100%. If we lose - I can handle that, but what's been pathetic is the way we've lost some games this season. Things will get better though I am sure. . . ish. . . kind of.

Michael11 added 12:43 - Jan 11
If we lose 10-0 tonight it'd make no difference, he won't be sacked. Get Drury in for Leadbitter tonight he's a waste of space

blockb_steward added 12:54 - Jan 11
Please can the players and management team actually show some character for a change and get something from this game? (but without conceeding at least twice before half-time)

I watched Brum v Wolves on Saturday and both looked poor in a bore draw.


MathieandMarshall added 12:56 - Jan 11
Bad times when we (as fans) go into matches expecting to lose! I cant honestly remember feeling this negative since i have been supporting the Town (luckilly missed the Duncan era) I spoke to a mate last night who has had a season ticket for years, regular at away mathces and even European pre season friendlies. He told me he has not bothered going to the last few games becasue he doesnt see the point driving 10 miles to watch another shockingly bad performance!! That is how bad things are right now!!

Legend added 13:04 - Jan 11
What happened to the three sigings before tonights game?
What happened to the St Ledger deal?

walberswick added 13:08 - Jan 11
Birmingham 4 Ipswich 2 (2-0 HT)

llewej_tuo added 13:50 - Jan 11
paul jewell ... hate him


Flightmech added 13:52 - Jan 11
Birmingham 5 Ipswich 1. (ours wil be a pen)

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