Jim easing off search for loan players

JIM Magilton today revealed an easing off from his search for quality loan players who can help Ipswich Town win promotion to the Premier League.The Blues boss leads his side into Coca-Cola Championship action at Oakwell against FA Cup heroes Barnsley tonight (kick-off 7.45pm)

Elvin King

JIM Magilton today revealed an easing off from his search for quality loan players who can help Ipswich Town win promotion to the Premier League.

The Blues boss leads his side into Coca-Cola Championship action at Oakwell against FA Cup heroes Barnsley tonight (kick-off 7.45pm) looking to move up from eighth place and re-ignite a play-off quest.

Having understandably lost patience with lame Portsmouth striker David Nugent last week, Magilton has found that there are few alternatives around who fit the bill as neatly as the 22-year-old England international.


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And Magilton was buoyed by the form of Alan Lee, who scored a fine headed goal to gain a home point against Sheffield United last Tuesday.

“Alan scored a great goal, and gave an impressive display,” said Magilton, who is also scouting round for a suitable defensive loanee.

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“My players have responded to the prospect of newcomers coming in to challenge for places.

“Alan has shone up front while Richard Naylor has been splendid at the back.

“These lads believe they can take this club forward.”

Magilton refuted reports that he has shown interest in Swansea striker Jason Scotland and Sheffield Wednesday defender Tommy Spurr.

But Magilton re-affirmed his belief in 18-year-old striker Jordan Rhodes, who he has not taken to Yorkshire for tonight's match but could well bring him in later in the campaign.

“Jordan is very much still in my thoughts,” said Magilton. “This is one of the reasons the likes of Dean Bowditch, Billy Clarke and Jamie Peters have gone out on loan.”

Magilton was upset about what he called embarrassing newspaper stories after the Sheffield United game, and today he stuck by his players.

“My players were hurt by the criticism,” added Magilton. “But we must learn from it and move on.

“We know we were not at our best, but we were resolute against a side with a £12million strike force.

“There was a lot of despondency after the Blades game, and we must now prove the doubters wrong.

“If we don't reach the play-offs it will not be for the lack of trying.

“I can't fault the effort being shown. Nothing pleases me more than a win, and when we don't they know it.

“When we do they receive a pat on the back and get an arm around them.

“What we all need now is support to add to confidence levels.

“We recognise that we have got a wonderful opportunity ahead of us.”

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