Jim: I'll win back the fans

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton today took responsibility for getting the Portman Road turnstiles clicking again.Saturday's 4-1 victory over Coventry City in the Coca-Cola Championship was watched by 18,840 - the lowest for a home league match since March 2000 when Crystal Palace visited in the season Town won promotion back to the Premiership.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton today took responsibility for getting the Portman Road turnstiles clicking again.

Saturday's 4-1 victory over Coventry City in the Coca-Cola Championship was watched by 18,840 - the lowest for a home league match since March 2000 when Crystal Palace visited in the season Town won promotion back to the Premiership.

Magilton has set himself the task of improving on that figure - and he is confident that he can.


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The current apparent disinterest in Ipswich's affairs comes at a time when they are on the crest of a wave at Portman Road with seven straight victories - their best league record since 1998/99.

“I did notice the crowd figure when it was announced during the game,” said Magilton. “But it did not worry me as I was concentrating on a match where we gained three points - which is the main thing.

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“I can't deny that it would be great to see the missing supporters come back, and the way to do that is to continue to win football matches.

“The floodgates would then open.

“You only have to look at Leeds, who may be near the foot of League One because of their points deduction.

“They are still pulling in big crowds as they are winning games.

“If our fans can see that we are having a really good go I am sure our gates will improve on Saturday's figure.

“It is my job to make sure they do.

“It is my job to win them back.

“I would love to see us playing in front of full houses for every home match, and I will be doing all I can to see this happen.”

Unusual circumstances played a part on Saturday with a 5.20pm kick-off and having the game shown live on television.

Lower season ticket sales this term and two consecutive away defeats prior to Coventry's visit did not help matters.

Magilton feels that having a free week will help preparation for Saturday's league trip to Hull City where he wants to recapture the excellent form his players are showing at home.

Town were knocked out of the Carling Cup by MK Dons in the first round, while Hull City are at home to Chelsea tonight.

“Coventry had a tough match in midweek and at Crystal Palace last week and I am sure this helped us get a quick hold of Saturday's match against them,” added Magilton.

“And it could be the same this weekend when we have a full week in which to prepare for our trip to Hull.”

Town's planned game against Leicester City last Tuesday was called off because the Midlands side were involved in a re-arranged Carling Cup second round game.

THE last time Ipswich Town won seven consecutive home league matches from January 30 1999 to April 20 1999 was against: Port Vale 1-0, Oxford 2-1, Watford 3-2, Tranmere Rovers 1-0, Huddersfield 3-0, QPR 3-1, Stockport 1-0. Then lost 2-1 at home to Crewe and finished third by one point behind Bradford City.

Town lost on away goals to Bolton in the play-off semi-finals after the Lancashire club had finished ten points behind them in the table.

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