Jim hoping to follow in Jones' footsteps

JIM Magilton will be hoping to take a leaf out of Dave Jones' book and turn zero to hero over the next 12 months.

Elvin King

JIM Magilton will be hoping to take a leaf out of Dave Jones' book and turn zero to hero over the next 12 months.

Cardiff City manager Jones went away from Portman Road last Saturday with a 2-1 victory under his belt to cement his club's top-six placing in the Coca-Cola Championship.

Magilton was left to fend off criticism of his management of Ipswich Town - with his popularity rating among Blues' supporters currently at an all-time low.

But it was all so different in November 2007 when Ipswich visited Ninian Park and Jones was expected to get the chop at any time.

A Paul Parry goal saw the Bluebirds beat Town 1-0, and from then on the dark clouds lifted from above Jones' head and he took them to the 2007/08 FA Cup final, and to a promotion-chasing position this term.

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Terry Phillips, who has covered Cardiff for the South Wales Echo for many years, recalled: “Cardiff chairman Peter Ridsdale inferred last November that Dave Jones had two games to turn things round.

“He came through those games and has done well since.

“Many fans wanted him out, but virtually all have changed their minds now.

“He was linked with a move to Blackburn and is proving himself a top manager right now.”

Magilton has received the backing of club owner Marcus Evans and chief executive Derek Bowden, but with expectation levels not having been met after the expenditure of around £12million on players over the last year, pressure on the Blues' boss would increase with a poor result at Coventry (kick-off 3pm) tomorrow.

Jones has shown that it pays to give managers time to find their feet, and it will be interesting to see whether Evans follows the brave example set by Ridsdale.

n Football League clubs voted to introduce a 'Home Grown Players' rule, as proposed by the Football League Board, at a specially arranged EGM of clubs at Derby County.

This will come into effect from the beginning of next season.

The new rule will require at least four players from the 16-strong match-day squad of every club to have been registered domestically for a minimum of three seasons, prior to their 21st birthday.

This will make the development of players through their academy even more important to Ipswich Town.

The new rule is in line with the approach favoured by UEFA rather than the '6+5' approach being proposed by FIFA.

The League had concerns over the legality of the latter in European law. This means that players will be considered as 'home grown' regardless of their nationality.