Date: 10th January 2011 at 5:51pm
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New Ipswich Town manager Paul Jewell has expressed his delight at taking over at Portman Road today, but also emphasised that there is plenty of hard work ahead for the Blues.

Jewell, 46, was officially unveiled as the successor to Roy Keane on Monday afternoon. The Liverpool-born boss revealed that he had faced many chances to return to football since leaving Derby County in 2008, but none had appealed to him as much as the offer from Ipswich.

Jewell told reporters at Monday’s press conference: ‘I’ve had a few opportunities but this one ticked all the boxes.’

However, even though the new boss enjoyed promotion success at Bradford City and particularly Wigan Athletic, he stressed that such aims would take time to achieve at Ipswich, with a lot of hard work lying ahead for the Blues if they are to turn things around.

‘I have what it takes to get sides promoted. There are no guarantees but I can promise that there will be no stone unturned in guiding this club to promotion which is the long term target.’

With Town still sat in 19th place three points above the Championship relegation zone, Jewell was honest about the team’s prospects for the rest of this season: ‘There is no quick fix. I don’t want to be negative but you normally need about 74 points to get in the play-offs which would mean we need another 46. That is a big ask.’

‘As long as we can see progress and consolidate that is the immediate aim.’

Consolidation will have to be the priority for Ipswich after a turbulent year-and-a-half under Roy Keane, but owner Marcus Evans has said that the Premier League remains the ultimate ambition for Town.

Evans, in a statement published on the Club’s Official Website, explained his decision: ‘I wanted to appoint a manager with several years of experience behind them who also had a history of promotion and then staying up.’

‘I have been lucky enough to find a manager in Paul who has done that twice and pertinently with two clubs [Bradford and Wigan] who had never been in the Premier League.’

Chief Executive Simon Clegg also emphasised the long-term nature of Town’s plans, telling the Official Website: ‘We are delighted to have him at the Football Club. I’m looking forward to working with him and I’m confident Paul can put in the building blocks that will allow us to achieve our long term goals for this great club.’

It could be a long time therefore before Ipswich Town fans will see their hopes of a return to Premier League football realised. However, there will be hopes that Jewell, whose Wigan side sealed automatic promotion at the expense of Town on the last day of the 2004/05 season, can repeat his feat in the not-too-distant future. In particular, it will be interesting to see what kind of funds Clegg and Evans are prepared to back their new man with.

Meanwhile Jewell has revealed that he will not be taking full charge of first team affairs until Thursday, with Ian McParland or reserve team coach Chris Kiwomya expected to adopt those responsibilities for Town’s big Carling Cup semi-final against Arsenal coming up at Portman Road on Wednesday evening. McParland, who was in charge for the Blues’ 7-0 loss at Chelsea, is expected to leave Portman Road with Jewell likely to bring in his own staff team. Plenty of rumours are already circulating that Chris Hutchings, recently sacked by Walsall, is in the frame to join Jewell as assistant manager. The two have previously worked together closely at Bradford, Wigan and Derby.

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