In-form Billy sends a reminder to Jim

IPSWICH boss Jim Magilton admits it is getting almost impossible to keep in-form youngster Billy Clarke kicking his heels on the bench. The 18-year-old Republic of Ireland forward was the stand-out player in last night's 2-2 draw with Brechin City and staked his claim for a place in the starting line-up with a stunning 13th-minute strike from the edge of the area.

IPSWICH boss Jim Magilton admits it is getting almost impossible to keep in-form youngster Billy Clarke kicking his heels on the bench.

The 18-year-old Republic of Ireland forward was the stand-out player in last night's 2-2 draw with Brechin City and staked his claim for a place in the starting line-up with a stunning 13th-minute strike from the edge of the area.

Magilton is a huge fan of Clarke's talent and clearly sees him as one of his top players for the future but has been caught between wanting to manage his development properly and doing what's best for his first-team.

Clarke has scored three goals already this season and is pushing for a place when league action resumes against West Brom in eight days' time.


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Magilton said: “Billy was excellent and there's no doubt he's one for the future.

“He took his goal really well and that's the sort of thing we see in training every day.

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“He's just a young boy so we have got to be careful with how much we use him but if he keeps progressing the way he is I won't be able to keep him out of the team.

“At the moment he's full of enthusiasm and wants to be involved in everything. I admire that in younger players but he realises why I've been so careful with him.

“His performances from the bench have been superb so it won't be too long before he's in the team.”

Magilton brought himself on for the final 20 minutes of last night's centenary match but assured fans that he's not planning a comeback.

“The fans can sleep soundly in their beds - that was a one off,” he joked.

“I told Michael O'Neill (Brechin's manager) that I would play as a gesture to him and he said he would do the same. I kept my part of the bargain but he didn't - maybe it was too cold for him.

“It was a good test for us because Brechin gave their all and our players showed great character to match them.”

Town needed a late Matt Richards goal to spare their blushes with a 2-2 draw against the Scottish part-timers.

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