Jewell confident Rams will bounce straight back
Paul Jewell has put his reputation on the line by publicly declaring for the first time his confidence that Derby will return to the Premier League next season.
Jewell is adamant he is not guaranteeing the Rams will return at the first attempt in the wake of their relegation to the Championship this season.
But he feels promotion is on the cards given his track record and the plans he is currently putting in place for the club.
It is a bold statement for Jewell to make after a wretched season in which the club are on course to become the worst in Premier League history.
'At the end of the day I'm not going to hide behind anything as the results have been rubbish since I have been here,' said the 43-year-old, yet to savour a win in 20 league games since his arrival at the end of November.
'But I have been in the Championship for three or four years in my career and I've been promoted twice and finished seventh once, so I'm very confident about getting promoted next year.
'I almost wish people could open the doors and see the work that is going on here (at the Moor Farm training ground) as it is an exciting time. I cannot guarantee promotion, but what I am entitled to do is to be confident.
'I have never been one to make rash statements, and I do not think that this is a rash statement. There are no guarantees, of course, but what I am saying to fans is that I think we will get promotion - I really do.'
Jewell lifted Bradford into the top flight at the end of his first full season in charge in 1998-1999.
Then, after finishing seventh with Wigan in their first season in the Championship in 2003-04, he won automatic promotion with the Latics the following season.
The supporters will now expect great things of Jewell and whatever side he puts together for their promotion bid.
'I can't really defend what has gone on here this season,' Jewell added on the club's official website. 'Despite the promotion we had last season the club wasn't in a great state when I got here. As far as morale and spirit were concerned, it wasn't great.
'But it will be great next year, that's my aim. I am very bullish about next year.
'Hopefully we can get back in the Premier League and have a team we can all be proud of.'