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Zenit sign Bart Simpson

The Toe Poke 8 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 28, 2007

Jewell relishing Derby challenge

New Derby County manager Paul Jewell insisted he would not 'wave the white flag' in the club's battle with relegation - but accepts he faces one of the toughest challenges of his career.

Jewell, who left his job as Wigan Athletic manager after keeping them up on the final day of last season, was unveiled on Wednesday morning as Billy Davies' replacement and his first task is to get the Rams off the bottom of the Premier League.

But despite the side's perilous situation, Jewell insists a first-time return to the Championship is not a foregone conclusion.

Asked if he could keep the side up this season, he told a press conference: 'Absolutely. If I don't believe it, if the players don't believe it, if the fans don't believe it we have no chance.

'It's going to be very difficult but I'm not here to wave the white flag. We're not adrift.'

Jewell has signed a three-and-a-half-year deal at Pride Park and insists although the appointment has been a speedy one he is ready to dig in for a long haul with the club following six months out of the game.

'I've taken time out of football to reflect on how I can get better. That time has not just been spent playing golf, I've done a lot of travelling and watched a lot of football.

'We're in a struggling situation but all is not lost and I'm here for the long term to try and get the club strong and upward and in the right direction.

'Every challenge is a big challenge - be it Bradford, Sheffield Wednesday or Wigan but this one really excites me. There is a lot of history in this football club but the history doesn't count for a lot these days.

'I think we can move the club forward.'

Jewell insisted he had never had contact with chairman Adam Pearson before a phone call on Tuesday and was clear that nothing definite had yet been discussed regarding transfers.

That was a major bone of contention during the Davies era, but Jewell is wary of overspending in the next transfer window.

'The chairman called me yesterday, it was the first time I've spoken to him ever - despite what people might think.

'People always ask about money but we want to move forward, there will be money available if and when we want to strengthen.

'People talk about the January window but you have to be careful about who you bring in. I've watched a lot of matches and there's players I'd like to bring in if and when it is possible.

'Let January look after itself, we're looking now to Sunderland (on Saturday).'