Jewell hits back at critics over lack of signings
Thursday 28 July 2005
Jewell completed his fourth signing of the summer on Tuesday in the experienced Switzerland international centre-back Stéphane Henchoz, who joins the goalkeeper Mike Pollitt and fellow defenders Ryan Taylor and Pascal Chimbonda.
While Jewell feels this close season has been no different to any other in terms of attracting players, he has been unable to spend the millions he has at his disposal courtesy of the club's owner Dave Whelan.
A failed £10m bid for Scott Parker aside, there are those left wondering what Jewell has been doing, resulting in a stinging rebuke. "I know supporters are getting fed up of me asking them to be patient, but I also get a little bit annoyed when people are wondering what I do on an afternoon," Jewell said. "It's not playing golf, that's for sure.
"But it's not about names, it's the nature of the player. I don't want to bring players to this club who are coming for the wrong reasons. They have to be hungry, like Stéphane, who jumped on a plane from Switzerland, came to train with us in Denmark last week and showed a commitment in wanting to join us, and I like that.
"The financial side of things is also important, but sometimes these transfers drag on and on, and then I start thinking 'well, what is the main motive here?' because quite often it is about money, or a player is not sure about Wigan. They have to be committed."
Jewell feels there has been a general lack of inactivity throughout the Premier League, and he will not spend simply because he has available funds. "You only have to look at what the top teams have been doing," he said. "There are not too many buying and selling. There's a dearth of good players available, yet it's dead easy to buy average to poor players.
"Look at my old club, Bradford. They are still paying a price for doing that. Football is littered with teams who have spent big when they are in the Premier League. But it's not about spending big money, it's how you spend it."
Jewell said that with just over five weeks to go to the closure of the transfer window, he will continue scouring the market up until the last available moment. "I remember signing Lee Mills for Bradford a minute before the deadline a few years ago and he went and scored 25 goals to help get us promoted," he said. "I might have to go right up until the closure of the transfer window again. I've never worked under the parameters of a transfer window, so it's a new thing for me. I know we certainly need a few more players - and I know who they are."
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