Blues braced for backlash

JIM Magilton has warned his team to brace themselves for a backlash at Sheffield Wednesday this afternoon.

Derek Davis

JIM Magilton has warned his team to brace themselves for a backlash at Sheffield Wednesday this afternoon.

The Owls were giving a right royal 6-0 thumping on Tuesday at Reading, watched by Magilton at the Madejski Stadium, and he expects his old team to come out swinging today.

Magilton said: “We need to go at them from the off. After watching them on Tuesday night we know their professional pride will be dented and they will all be very, very hurt.

“Getting beat 6-0 is not particularly nice and I expect a backlash. No doubt Brian Laws will be expecting a backlash

“So we have to understand that and be ready for it.”

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Magilton reminded his players how Bristol City reacted after Town give then a six goal drubbing but at the same time insisted he was confident his side could deepen the Owls' misery.

He said: “We beat Bristol City 6-0and then they went on a run that ended up with them in the play-offs.

“Wednesday are a very attack-minded team and if we don't present ourselves and defend properly we will be tested. But I'm quietly confident we can go there and get a result.

“Confidence is growing and the belief is that we can go there and do well.”

Magilton joined Town from Wednesday when they were a Premier League outfit and knows the area well.

He said: “Sheffield is a city with two big clubs. Wednesday are a Premier League club and I have played there when it has been sold out and there are few better grounds.

“Brian Laws is a very good manager and for the man to take them forward.”

While he knows he will get the inevitable stick Magilton is delighted two others will be in for more abuse as Jon Stead and Alan Quinn are both ex-Blades.

Magilton said: “Alan will get booed more than me so I can sneak in under the radar.

“Alan had a slow start but is now starting to play really well and needs to keep that level going.

“He adds something to the team when he is playing at full pelt and adds to the team.

“He gave is a momentum when he came in last year and scoring at Sheffield Wednesday was great and his contribution has been first class.”

Gareth McAuley and Ben Thatcher both travelled with the squad up to south Yorkshire last night but will be given a fitness test this morning, with Alex Bruce pushing Pim Balkestein for the centre half spot.

Sheffield Wednesday: Grant, O'Donnell, McMahon, Wood, Beevers, Spurr, Gilbert, Smith, Small McAllister, Watson, O'Connor, Esajas, Tudgay, Johnson, Jeffers, Burton, Clarke.

Ipswich Town: R Wright, Supple, Volz, D Wright, Thatcher, McAuley, Naylor, Bruce, Balkestein, Campo, Haynes, Miller, Garvan, Shumulikoski, Quinn, Haynes, Walters, Stead, Lisbie, Counago.