Paul Jewell shares his matchday programme column
Welcome back to Portman Road for today’s game against Huddersfield Town after two very long, tiring and ultimately disappointing away trips.
Blackpool are a good side and will be one of the clubs to beat in the Championship this season but we shouldn’t be going down to them or anyone else by six goals.
Ian Holloway [Blackpool boss] had some nice words to say about us after the game but the simple fact is that we have to be more resilient when things get tough.
The result was misleading in many ways. They shaded the first-half but it was harsh on us to concede a second goal just before half-time. They got another one straight after the break and it was very difficult for us after that.
We are okay when passing the ball around in a ‘pretty’ game but when it gets physical and it’s about doing the ugly part of football, grinding out a result, we have struggled. That is something that has hindered this Club for a few years now. It’s not a new problem.
We have to be more ruthless all over the park. We have to earn the right to play as well because if we do that, we can be a match for anyone. We have proved that.
It was the same at Carlisle on Tuesday night. We played some good football in the first-half and were in control of the game. Chops [Michael Chopra] and Josh [Carson] had one-on-ones with the ‘keeper and if we score then, when we were ahead already, then the game is over.
But we let them back in the game. They scored late on, got their tales up and we are on the backfoot.
Needless to say it was a long journey home after and our situation wasn’t helped by injuries to Carlos [Edwards], Luke Hyam and Josh.
Carlos suffered a groin injury early on and he’s a big doubt for us today. Luke missed the Carlisle game with a tight hamstring and you have to be careful with that type of injury and it’s the same with Josh, although he is not too serious and should be okay for this afternoon.
The injuries will obviously put added pressure on the squad, which we know is thin. We have been able to bring in Guirane N’Daw on loan from St Etienne for the season and he will give us some physical presence in the middle of the park.
He was at Birmingham last season and when I spoke to Chris Hughton [ex Birmingham boss], about Guirane, he was very positive about him. He can play at the back as well as in midfield so he gives us options and he brings with him a good pedigree.
We’ve also added Daryl Murphy to the squad, again on loan until the end of the season. He obviously knows the Club well having been here on loan twice before and like Guirane, will add some physicality to the squad. We’re a small squad in height and he will help that. He can win the ball in the air, score goals and gives us options in attack and down the left side.
It’s been well documented that we have to add to the squad and it’s been frustrating that we’ve not been able to do that as much as we would have liked. We still have targets and while some came off and others didn’t this week, it’s certainly not been through a lack of effort from all parties.
The loan window opens again in a week’s time and we will go again then.
On the other side, Damien Delaney and Ryan Stevenson have moved on. Damien has been a good servant to the Club over the last three and a half years but he felt it was the right time to move and we wish him good luck for the future.
With Ryan, it was more for family reasons. He felt it was better for him and his family if he moved back to Scotland and settled back up there. He’s a great lad and again, we wish him well.
Finally, I’d like to welcome Simon Grayson, his staff and the Huddersfield players to Portman Road this afternoon. They have lost Jordan Rhodes to Blackburn this week but I’m sure they will look to replace him and they have already shown that they have the players to make an impact in the Championship this season