Paul Jewell wants Ipswich Town to follow Norwich City’s lead
Paul Jewell has uttered the words Ipswich Town fans will be loath to hear, and wants them to follow the lead of arch rivals Norwich City.
It took relegation to League One, boardroom changes and an inspired managerial appointment to help the Canaries turn their plummeting fortunes into a Premier League return inside 21 heady months.
Under Paul Lambert, City took the third tier title at a canter and miraculously carried their momentum through to achieve automatic promotion from the Championship at the first attempt, in front of sell-out crowds and electric atmospheres.
And while the lows have not been as deep at City's fiercest rivals, Jewell wants the Portman Road faithful to take a leaf out of the Canaries' book.
Having been hammered 7-1 at Peterborough – arguably Town's low point in a decade of second tier football – Jewell turned to the diamond formation that served City so well last season.
Since then a run of 10 points from 12 has seen Town rise to the fringes of the Championship play-offs, albeit with three points fewer than Norwich at the same stage last term.
'I don't like to mention Norwich too much because I know people don't like it,' said Jewell.
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'I went to a couple of their games last year and they had something going. They had got the crowd on side, a real noisy atmosphere, you could just sense the belief.
'I don't want to go as far as saying we want to emulate them because I know I would get lynched. We are similar type clubs though and we want that feelgood factor they had last season.'
The winning habit at Carrow Road last term translated into record derby victories for Norwich over their Suffolk enemy – with Grant Holt's hat-trick bagging a 4-1 win on home soil last autumn, before City incredibly bettered that with a 5-1 victory at Portman Road at Easter – handing the Canaries a remarkable 9-2 aggregate and a league double.
This season City are concerning themselves with Premier League safety, a battle back under way with the visit of fellow top flight new boys Swansea City on Saturday.
As for Town, Jewell has also been keen to point out his side's staying power after late winners from Keith Andrews and Lee Bowyer earned wins at Leeds and West Ham respectively – a knack Norwich had down to a fine art last season.
'I think they got something like 20-odd points through injury-time goals,' said Jewell.
'That gave the crowd belief and if we can get that belief at Portman Road we'll have a chance.'