Big week for Jim

BLUES boss Jim Magilton is facing arguably the biggest week of his managerial career as he looks to save his job.

Derek Davis

BLUES boss Jim Magilton is facing arguably the biggest week of his managerial career as he looks to save his job.

The defeat by rivals Norwich City, the third away loss in a row, coupled with Town sitting just 13th in the table, has put Magilton under intense scrutiny.

Many Ipswich Town fans are again calling for his head and it is understood owner Marcus Evans is concerned at the situation.

Although Evans, and Town chief executive Derek Bowden, have constantly insisted Magilton was safe until at least the end of the season and had no time constraints, their patience is wearing thin at the lack of tangible progress being made.

While Magilton is confident in his position and insists the club is far better placed than it was a year ago, good results against a Bristol City side that have won just once in nine Championship matches and play-off contenders Cardiff City are vital to restore confidence.

Most Read

Magilton had the full squad in training yesterday instead of being given a day off and the Blues will prepare again today for the Bristol visit.

His opposite number Gary Johnson fears a derby day backlash from Ipswich but is also looking to take advantage of the pressure Magilton is under.

The former Newmarket Town boss has intimate knowledge of the East Anglian area so knows just how hurt the Blues and their followers will be after being beaten by Norwich City.

Johnson warned: “Ipswich will be smarting after losing the derby match and will want a good response.

“We know we will need to weather the early storm and if we can do that and quieten the crowd we will be right in the game.

“Ipswich have been going through a bit of a hard time of late and Jim Magilton is under a bit of pressure. We need to take advantage of that.”

Town took full advantage of City being weakened by injury and losing a couple of key players early on at Portman Road last year to hand out a 6-0 drubbing. But the away form let down Town again and they lost at Ashton Gate.

Johnson insists the 6-0 thrashing for his Bristol City side from last year is a distant memory and the 2-0 win less than a month later laid that ghost to rest.

City used the defeat as a catalyst and went on to reach the Championship play-off final before losing to Hull City at Wembley.

Johnson said: “That was last season and so is very much in the past. We have moved on a lot since then.

“The time to get revenge for that was in the home game a couple of weeks later and we did that by winning so that has been put to bed.”

City will be without Lee Johnson and Jamie McAllister, who have ankle injuries, and Dele Adebola misses out with a dead leg.

Gavin Williams, who joined the Robins from Town last summer, is expected to start on the bench as Johnson looks to keep an unchanged side after holding Swansea City to a goal-less draw on Saturday.