De Vos defends his boss

BLUES skipper Jason De Vos has launched a stout defence of his manager Jim Magilton and insists Town have already had a relatively successful season.A section of disgruntled Blues fans are not convinced Town will be promoted and there have been suggestions Magilton should be replaced in the summer if they don't go up.

Derek Davis

BLUES skipper Jason De Vos has launched a stout defence of his manager Jim Magilton and insists Town have already had a relatively successful season.

A section of disgruntled Blues fans are not convinced Town will be promoted and there have been suggestions Magilton should be replaced in the summer if they don't go up.

De Vos said: “I don't for one second believe that will happen. Jim is not under any pressure from that perspective.


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“This is an exciting place to be right now with the momentum that is going on in the building.

“We need to get everyone on board with that and get the message across to the supporters that there will be bumps in the road but we are going forward.

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“If anyone had suggested at the beginning of the season that with ten games to play we would be within touching distance of the play-offs every one of our supporters would have accepted that.

“But with a couple of draws and a loss people say the wheels have come off and that is not the case.”

Although Magilton was able to bring in five new players in January, De Vos feels the new-found wealth has not had time to take full effect.

He said: “It takes time. Rome was not built in a day. Alex Ferguson has said January is not the best time to sign players because it takes time for players to settle in.

“The lads we have signed have bedded in extremely quickly and it like they have been here all season.

“That is testament to the scouting staff we have and the manager for bringing them in as they have blended in very well and that is important.”

De Vos feels the style of football and tactics Town deploy, coupled with their new found defensive steel, will get them up.

He said: “The players are fully committed to what we are trying to do. We are 100 per cent behind the manager and the way he wants us to play.

“It is an enjoyable team to play in when we get the ball down and pass.

“But we need to have that other side that other teams in the Championship rely on. You need to be able to battle and they launch the ball forward for long throws and set pieces and we have to withstand that.

“We have done that better than at any stage in the past and we have to do the grunt work which is the inglorious side of football.

“It will be important against Barnsley who are a big strong side and the weather is not going to be great but that is something both teams have to deal with.

“We have to go there and be resolute and determined and keep that clean sheet while going on to take the game to them.”

De Vos shrugged off the brickbats the team have received of late saying the players know when it is warranted.

He said: “Criticism is part and parcel of football and the players know if they have performed to the best of their ability.

“Maybe we lacked a bit of quality and conviction but there was plenty of effort and if we get a result at Barnsley we will be moving up the table again.”

The Canadian centre-half prefers to focus on what town can do rather than worry about Barnsley's state of mind after their quarter-final win over Chelsea, following their victory at Liverpool.

De Vos said: “It can go either way. They could be on a high and still full of confidence or be a little flat after the excitement of the weekend.

“From our perspective we can worry about that. We have top make sure our game is right and we are 100 per cent focused. If you are relying on other teams to below par then you getting off on the wrong foot.

“We have to make sure we come out of the starting game early and take the game to them, keep the crowd quiet and really perform.”

derek.davis@archant.co.uk

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