Crushing Defeats Shine Spotlight On Paul Jewellby Richard Smith / 23 August 2011, 09:45Tweet
Four defeats on the trot has sent small waves of panic through the Ipswich Town dressing room as their season crumbles right in front of them. An embarrassing defeat at home by League Two's Northampton in the first round of the Carling Cup has been followed by a hat-trick of dismal league defeats. Paul Jewell now faces his first real test as Ipswich boss as he attempt to piece together the players' shattered confidence and works out a plan to get the club's season back on track. As a result of Ipswich's poor form Jewell's odds have been slashed from 9/1 to just 11/2 in the Next Championship Manager To Be Sacked Odds.
The Tractor Boys started the season brightly with a resounding 3-0 win at Bristol City to send them top of the league after the first round of matches. However, three damaging defeats later has left the fans shell shocked as the team have slumped down to 20th in the Championship. Worryingly, the club has leaked 12 goals in their last two games as they have been completely torn apart by the leagues newly promoted clubs. A 5-2 home defeat to Southampton was followed by a horrendous 7-1 thrashing at Peterborough. Jewell has been left furious at the manner of those defeats and the way the defence has collapsed completely.
It has certainly not been the ideal start to Jewell's first full-season in charge. The 48-year-old joined the club in January and guided them to 13th after they had spent the first half of the season hovering dangerously above the relegation zone. The board has previously stated that Jewell is under no pressure to make the club promotion contenders at the first time of asking. They do, however, want to see progress and an improvement upon the previous season, which has not been made as of yet. If the club's worrying form continues then the board may have to rethink their options. Jewell has spoken of the need to recreate the passion but it is his job to motivate the players and inject some self-belief into them during this mini-crisis. Ipswich's plummeting form means their relegation odds have been cut to 8/1 with Paddy Power while the bookies have lengthened their promotion odds to 11/1.
Up next for Ipswich is a tough home match against Leeds. Leeds have recovered from defeats in their opening two matches and following their last gasp equaliser away to promotion favourites West Ham they are full of confidence and look to be back on track. Paddy Power have Ipswich available at 6/4 to win, with Leeds priced at 13/8 and a draw at 12/5.
All odds provided by Paddy Power.