Best decision of my life, says Magilton

BLUES boss Jim Magilton last night revealed how close he was to becoming the Oxford United manager 14 months ago. A few days before transfer deadline day last March, Magilton was waiting to be picked up by his agent Mark Maguire from the PFA to drive to Oxford and finalise the details on a contract to become player-manager.

By Derek Davis

BLUES boss Jim Magilton last night revealed how close he was to becoming the Oxford United manager 14 months ago.

A few days before transfer deadline day last March, Magilton was waiting to be picked up by his agent Mark Maguire from the PFA to drive to Oxford and finalise the details on a contract to become player-manager.

But after hearing on the radio that Darren Patterson had been put in charge of United he did a U-turn and stayed with Ipswich - a move he has described as “the best decision of my life”.


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Days later the club was sold by Firoz Kassam to current chairman Nick Merry and Jim Smith returned after 20 years to be the manager again - but could not stop them dropping out of the Football League.

Magilton said: “I was very, very close to going to Oxford. Mick Maguire was going to drive down with me but I said I wasn't going - it turned out to be the best decision I have ever made in my life.

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“The old owner Kassam's reign was swiftly ended and a couple of days later Jim Smith went there while I stayed at Ipswich. The rest is history and has worked out perfectly for me.”

Magilton retired as a player at the end of last season and then became the Ipswich manager a month later.

The Irishman, who made his Football League debut playing for Oxford, has completed his first year in charge at Portman Road.

Magilton revealed in March that he had no intention of leaving Town despite being linked with a possible vacancy for the Northern Ireland manager's job.

He told the EADT then that he was flattered to be linked but was not yet ready to step into an international managerial role.

Magilton watched Smith's Oxford miss out on a Wembley final after losing out on penalties to Exeter City in midweek, managed by his former Southampton team-mate Paul Tisdale, who once spent a few days on trial at Ipswich.

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