Rivals understand abandonment

Jewell thinks match was becoming a 'lottery'

Paul Jewell: Ipswich's boss thought his side was the better team before match was called off

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Paul Jewell and Tony Mowbray had no complaints with the decision to abandon the match between Ipswich and Middlesbrough.

Referee Dean Whitestone called the game off due to concerns about the frozen surface down one side of the Portman Road pitch.

The game had survived two pitch inspections, but, with the temperature dipping and the conditions deteriorating, the players were sent back to the dressing room after 37 minutes.

The match was still goalless and, despite being disappointed and feeling "flat", Jewell felt it was a justified decision by referee Whitestone.

"We were the better side and had adapted to the conditions well," said the Ipswich boss.

"But the last thing you want is more injuries or to lose a game, because of the conditions of the pitch.


"When it becomes dangerous, it becomes a bit of a farce. As the game went on, the pitch became unplayable.

"I fully understand the supporters' frustrations, but it was becoming more of a lottery as every minute passed by."

Middlesbrough boss Mowbray said: "In the end, it was probably the right decision.

"The bigger question would be was it right to start? But I was here this morning and it was lovely under the big hot-air bubble.

"There were a few concerns when it came down, but we were happy to start, because we'd travelled down.

"We were here and the supporters were starting to come into the stadium. I think it was the right decision to start.

"It's easy to say with hindsight that it shouldn't have started, because we haven't got it finished. But as the sun went behind the stand the pitch began to crisp up."