Saturday 20 January 2018

'Fraud' Jewell looks to steal final berth

John Ley

Paul Jewell leads Ipswich Town out at the Emirates Stadium tonight admitting to feeling "a bit of a fraud".

The club's new manager will have been in charge for just 15 days when the Championship side, 1-0 up from the first leg at Portman Road, attempt to create a League Cup surprise by reaching their first domestic final for 33 years.

Jewell replaced Roy Keane a fortnight ago and sat in the stands for the first leg when caretakers Ian McParland and Tony Loughlan engineered a surprise 1-0 victory.

"I feel a bit of a fraud because I'm in the second leg of a semi-final and I haven't been involved in the League Cup at all this season," said Jewell. "And if we get to Wembley I'll feel an even bigger fraud. I came in and 'Charlie' (McParland) and Tony took them in the first semi and Roy got them to that stage. I have just taken over. The first leg was down to them."

Jewell will not lose sight of his priorities as he faces a side who, he admitted, scared him with their performance on Saturday against his former club, Wigan.

Ipswich remain in a relegation battle but confidence has been improved by Saturday's 3-2 win over Doncaster, Jewell's first victory in charge.

"The most important thing is the league but if we can get to a cup final that would be brilliant," he said. "We've got it all to do but we want to remain positive.

"The result on Saturday and the way it was achieved (from 1-0 down) should trigger belief and there is a sense of a bit more confidence.

"I had the unfortunate experience of sitting down to watch 'Match of the Day' and watching Arsenal -- and I quickly turned it off."

Jewell, though, could not resist a taunt at Cesc Fabregas, the Arsenal captain, who claimed after the first leg he was not sure "if it was a long ball or a rugby kick that beat us".

Jewell quipped: "If we move the game to Twickenham we may have a chance. I guess things are taken out of context -- but I'd fancy us to beat them at rugby."

For one young man, though, the game represents more than the chance of a good day out; for Connor Wickham it is the opportunity to confirm his capabilities. Jewell is keen to play down the potential influence of the 17-year-old striker, who is being courted by a host of leading clubs, most notably Tottenham Hotspur.

Wickham scored against Doncaster and Jewell said: "Hopefully he can go on a bit of a run. There's been a lot of talk about Connor Wickham for obvious reasons and I'm aware not to put pressure on his broad, but very young, shoulders."

Jewell may restore Dubliner Mark Kennedy to midfield, with Lee Martin cup-tied having played in the competition for Charlton. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Arsenal v Ipswich,

Live, BBC 2, 7.45

Irish Independent

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