Concerned Evans 'sounds out opinions'

BLUES owner Marcus Evans has been sounding out opinions to gauge reaction to Town's current situation, as pressure grows on manager Jim Magilton after a disappointing start to the season.

Derek Davis

BLUES owner Marcus Evans has been sounding out opinions to gauge reaction to Town's current situation, as pressure grows on manager Jim Magilton after a disappointing start to the season.

Evans stayed in East Anglia between watching the Wigan defeat on Wednesday and the poor 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on Saturday to meet staff at the club and at the training centre.

It is understood that Evans, who has spent more than £25million on buying 87.5 % of the club, buying the £32m debt and investing in around £7m worth of new players, has been less than impressed with the team's progress this season.

The Blues are currently in 16th place in the Championship with just one home win and one away win so far. They are 13 points behind leaders Wolves.

Fewer than 20,000 watched the Blues take the lead but end up drawing with Palace and supporters chanted 'You don't know what you're doing.' to Magilton with boos ringing out at the end of the match.

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Magilton hit back by insisting he does know what he is doing but admitted making a mistake in taking off goal-scorer Jon Stead.

Although I understand Magilton will keep his job throughout this season, and beyond if Town are promoted, it has not stopped speculation that other big-name managers are being lined up to take over. Sam Allardyce, Alan Curbishley and Ruud Gullit are just three names being bandied around.

Although Evans continues to decline an invitation to speak publicly about the current predicament, there are suggestions from within the club that he is growing impatient.

An insider at Portman Road told the EADT: “Mr Evans is concerned enough to take time away from his core business to spend time at Ipswich Town to speak with a wide range of people.

“He has met with a number of people, introducing himself, much to some people's surprise and just having a little chat to them.'

Evans, who made his fortune selling corporate hospitality, will also be concerned at dwindling gates. The swathes of empty seats against Palace told its own story and even with the excuse of having the game live on television it was a poor crowd, with the stated attendance of 19,000 probably swelled by season ticket holders being counted even if they didn't actually go.

The crowd against joint-bottom Barnsley tomorrow night is not expected to be any better but Evans is not expected to be at the game either.