Don't be intimidated at the Bridge - Jim

JIM Magilton has urged his players to be inspired, not intimidated by the Stamford Bridge challenge today.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

JIM Magilton has urged his players to be inspired, not intimidated by the Stamford Bridge challenge today.

The Championship side, who have not won at Stamford Bridge in nearly 30 years, take on Premier League high flyers Chelsea looking to cause an FA cup upset.


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Magilton said: “We know what lies ahead but I want to use it as inspiration rather than intimidation.

“I want the players to go to Stamford Bridge and use the occasion as a catalyst for the rest of the season, the use the game to buoy them up for what is a very important three or four months ahead.

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“Hopefully the experience - win lose or draw will hold us all in good stead. So the message to the players is don't be intimated, take pride in our performance and do the best we possibly can on the day.”

Magilton accepts it is a big gap in class to bridge but has tailored training with that in mind.

He said: “We know we are going up an extra level and then an extra level after that.

“We know they are a world class team with world class players so we have to do things quicker.

“Preparation wise for the game, we have upped our tempo with our focus in training being about moving the ball around as quickly as possible, getting pictures in our head quicker.

“They will close us down, we are going to have to be careful on the ball and when we have the ball, they will be precious moments and we have to make it count.

“You have got to go there and recognise their strengths, recognise they have a team full of players that can exploit weaknesses in your team.”

After a pretty non-descript Championship season the day out to London represents some light relief for Town with the pressure on Chelsea.

Magilton said: “We go into the game with little pressure on us. Unbelievably Chelsea seem to have some pressure on them - not sure why when you look at the fact that they are in the hunt for three trophies. But in the modern era where media attention centres on the big clubs, they are constantly in the spotlight and they have to deal with that. They had a little blip, they are starting to come again though.”

Magilton believes the test will be a gauge as to how far town, and he as a manager, have to go.

He said: “It will give the players a taste of what they can expect every week in the Premier League. It's a one off occasion, obviously but it will give us an inkling of where we are as a team.

“As a manager, I'm relishing the challenge. I want to manage in the Premier League and I want to pit my wits against the best in the business and Phil Scolari clearly falls into that category.”

Magilton confirmed that Luciano Civelli was due to arrive in Ipswich this weekend for talks about completing a �1.2m switch from Argentinean side Banfield.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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