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DERBY have appointed Paul Jewell as their new boss.

The ex-Wigan chief has ended his six-month exile from the game to agree a 3½-year deal.

Jewell takes over with the Rams rock bottom of the Premier League after taking just six points from their opening 14 games.

But asked if they could avoid relegation, he said: “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.

“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.â€

Chairman Adam Pearson was originally told by Jewell's advisers that he was patiently waiting for another job at a rival Premier League club.

But when it became clear that club was not prepared to appoint him immediately, Pearson was given the OK to open talks.

Jewell's contract is worth £1.5million a year. But that will be cut to £750,000 in the event of a return to the Championship.

He has already turned down offers from Leicester, the Republic of Ireland and old club Wigan to return to the game, as he hung on for a club with a strong fan base, excellent facilities and the prospect of financial investment.

Pearson is confident that cash injection will be in place by the summer, convincing Jewell, 43, to sign up.

Chris Hutchings, Jewell's No 2 at Wigan and Bradford City, will join him. Ex-Burnley boss Stan Ternent will also have a role.
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