Jewell Out to Prove Point
Saturday, 7th Apr 2012 08:38
Blues boss Paul Jewell returns to his old club Derby today looking to prove a point to Rams fans but more than anyone else to himself. The Town manager endured a torrid spell at Pride Park between November 2007 and December 2008, winning only 12 of his 58 games in charge.
Jewell is under no illusions about how he is regarded by Derby supporters: “I think you have to prove yourself to [the fans of your old club]. If you talk to Derby fans about their managers, I’d be down the bottom of that list.
“I think I have to prove it to myself, this is why I took the Ipswich job because I think it’s a club which has got a long-term vision and somewhere where I got excited about trying to prove myself again.
“I think you have to do that. No one’s that good that you stop thinking you have to prove yourself, even Sir Alex.
“Every day he’ll be wanting to take on a challenge and prove himself better. I don’t [only] want to prove that to Derby fans, I want to prove it to myself that I’ve got it in me.”
He admits his time at Pride Park didn’t ever get going: “In fairness, at Derby we never really got off the ground. I went there when we were in the Premier League after 14 games and we had five points and the rot had set in. The team wasn’t quite up to Premier League standard.
“I had a brilliant chairman, Adam Pearson [now head of football operations at Hull City], but obviously the Americans took over and there was always a little bit of politics. I didn’t get involved in it but there was always little bits and pieces going on.
“I have huge respect for Derby as a club because it’s a club that because of its facilities and its support, like us and a number of other teams, deserves to be challenging for the Premiership.”
The Blues boss makes no excuses for failing to replicate the success he had previously enjoyed at Bradford and Wigan while with the Rams: “I think at the end of the day, sometimes as a manager, whatever you do, sometimes it just isn’t working at a club. We’ve all had success in our lives, we’ve all had failures.
“I’m not hiding behind the fact that I wasn’t successful there, I can’t hide behind it. There were a few mitigating circumstances but I wasn’t successful there.
“I move on, I wish Derby all the best because I’ve got huge respect for the place, but I’m the Ipswich manager and I want to be Ipswich manager for a long time.”
Jewell, who coincidentally resigned as Derby manager after a 1-0 defeat by Town, says both clubs will be looking to end their seasons on a high note, despite the play-offs appearing out of reach: “We want to have a strong end to the season, I’m sure Nigel Clough’s exactly the same. We want a strong finish to try and keep up the momentum that we have gathered over the last two months.
“We’ve had a really tough season both on and off the pitch, different things seem to have gone against us, but we’ve come out the other side and we’ve come out the other side better, stronger and better equipped as a team to make a better pitch next season.”
Photo: Action Images
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