Wembley is 'huge' but promotion will be Jewell in crown

From the statue of Sir Alf Ramsey on one corner, past the Sir Bobby Robson Stand to the photographs in reception of Robson's teams with the FA Cup and Uefa Cup, Ipswich Town are a club happy to celebrate their past.

Traditionally, too, they like to give their managers time, so having sacked Jim Magilton on his second day as chief executive, Simon Clegg was reluctant to dispense with his successor, Roy Keane; even when the start of last season stretched to 14 games without a win. In a folder on his desk are charts in blue and red of the points total and League position week by week. It records the horrible start to the last campaign, with a gradual improvement to finish 15th. This season began with an excellent win at Middlesbrough, and early in November the chart confirms the Town were as high as seventh.

By the beginning of this month, however, Clegg and owner Marcus Evans had decided it was time for a change. The imminent transfer window was a factor, as were cup ties against Chelsea and Arsenal. Keane's assistant, Ian McParland, oversaw a 7-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup, then devised a plan to get in behind Arsenal's defence and bring a deserved 1-0 win to take into the second leg of the Carling Cup semi-finals on Tuesday. Since then he has left and Paul Jewell has been appointed along with Chris Hutchings.

No wonder Clegg calls it "an emotional roller-coaster" of a month. Of Keane he says: "Everyone's got this illusion about Roy being a very difficult individual. I enjoyed the professional relationship we developed over 18 months. I'm disappointed he's gone and when you work to a common goal and don't achieve it, we bear a collective responsibility for that."

As recently as George Burley, Ipswich kept the same manager for eight years – Keane's stint of 21 months being their second shortest since the war. So they hope Jewell is in for the long haul.

"Paul has outstanding qualities and experience," Clegg says. "You only need to look at his track record, particularly taking Bradford and Wigan into the Premier League. He did that without the benefit of parachute payments and had over six years at Wigan. He's not a man who jumps ship easily. We'd very much like him to be here for the long term to help us achieve the goals we have for this great club."

Which are? "The stated ambition, without a timescale, is to take us back into the Premier League at the earliest opportunity. We need to recognise there are 23 other clubs in the Championship with the same ambition and we've got to make sure we work harder and are smarter than the others. We're in a solid financial situation, though I don't think there's any club in the Championship making money. Clubs are dependent upon wealthy benefactors to support them and we're fortunate to have an individual who's ambitious and will support the manager in trying to achieve that goal."

Clegg, who was previously the chief executive of the British Olympic Association, joined the club in April 2009, 16 months after Evans – who provided significant funding for Team GB at the Beijing Olympics – became the new owner. Evans's image has been that of a recluse, one news-paper considering it something of a coup to have snapped a picture of him attending an Ipswich game at Selhurst Park.

Anonymity would be difficult to preserve with an appearance at Wembley, which Clegg suggests, without wanting to tempt fate, would be "absolutely huge". In the first hour that 9,000 tickets for the Emirates went on sale, Ipswich received 27,000 phone calls; the game will be sold out. "We're really excited about playing in that great stadium, against one of the greatest teams in the land, carrying a 1-0 advantage.

"There's something special about the fans in this part of the country. I can't believe that there are many fans being beaten 7-0 at Chelsea who are still singing: "Bring on the Arsenal." The time to do so is almost at hand, and Suffolk cannot wait.

Arsenal versus Ipswich Town is on BBC2 on Tuesday, kick-off 7.45pm

Sport
The sun rises over St Andrews golf course, but will it be a new dawn for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club?
sportAnd it's Yes to women (at the R&A)
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week