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Derby boss Jewell admits defeat in relegation battle

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Derby County manager Paul Jewell has admitted he is already planning for life in the Championship next season.

Despite earning a creditable 1-1 draw with Uefa Cup qualification contenders Manchester City last night, Jewell was left to lament some poor defending that cost his side three points when Daniel Sturridge headed home from a Martin Petrov cross.

And Jewell, who took charge of the club following the sacking of Billy Davies last year, believes his side are already doomed to relegation from the top-flight despite there being nearly four months to go until the end of the season.

"Every mistake we've made since I've been here, and probably under Billy Davies as well, has been punished," he said.

"You need the luck but we didn't get it.

"We fought like tigers tonight and no player can be questioned over his effort."

Jewell continued: "We're trying to build for next season now, we're targeting players to come in now but there are so many things you want to change round and you can't do it overnight.

"We're planning for the summer and for next season – we know we're going to be in the Championship next season but the campaign for next season starts now."

Regardless of his pessimistic outlook for the remainder of the 2007/08 campaign, Jewell believes the "future is bright" after seeing the American corporation General Sports and Entertainment, headed by Andy Appleby, take over the club.

"I guess the season we've had has been torturous for everyone connected with Derby County," the manager added.

"The reason I came is because I think the future will be bright for us, the potential's there."
© Adfero Ltd
31 January 2008 09:43 GMT

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