Home start wish comes true for Jim

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton has been given his wish - a home start to the 2007/08 Coca-Cola Championship football season.“This is what we wanted - and now let's hope we can have a full house,” said Magilton.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton has been given his wish - a home start to the 2007/08 Coca-Cola Championship football season.

“This is what we wanted - and now let's hope we can have a full house,” said Magilton. “It will be a challenging start for us.”

The Owls from Sheffield Wednesday are the August 11 visitors to Portman Road with Brian Laws' side doubling Town last season and enjoying a strong end to a campaign that saw them get close to a play-off place.


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Ipswich then visit MK Dons midweek in the Carling Cup before a long trip to Plymouth on August 18. They entertain Crystal Palace a week late - and do not have another home match until September 18 when Leicester are in town.

The eagerly awaited matches against Norwich City are scheduled to take place at Carrow Road on Saturday November 3 and Portman Road on Saturday April 12, but they will probably both be moved back a day.

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The Blues entertain neighbours Colchester on Tuesday October 23 and visit Layer Road on Saturday April 5.

Town have a Boxing Day visit to Leicester and face long midweek trips to Burnley (October 2) and Bristol City (December 4). There will be no summer frolics in Blackpool for Town fans with the visit to Bloomfield Road taking place on January 19.

Magilton has no intention of playing 'catch-up' this season.

He has made it plain to his players that he wants to hit the ground running on August 11.

“Last season we were under-cooked at kick-off, and lost our first three Championship matches,” he said.

“From then on we were playing catch-up.

“Having taken over the job last summer I was not in control of the pre-season schedule - and I want to ensure that we are fully prepared this time.”

The Blues boss had his players back early - with pre-season training starting on Tuesday.

Yesterday Magilton put his squad through their paces at Christchurch Park.

They reached the park at 10am having already had a session of pilates, judo or stretching - and a breakfast.

“They are all bright and breezy,” said Magilton.

“They enjoyed a nice break and will have the opportunity to have plenty of rest over the next few weeks.

“But in-between we will be working hard.”

Gavin Williams, Sylvain Legwinski, Gary Roberts (thigh strain) and Fabian Wilnis missed the running part of training yesterday, but Jason De Vos, Richard Naylor and other injury doubt Dean Bowditch were all put through their paces.

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