Jim insists he has faith in his players

IS Ipswich Town manager Jim Magilton being let down by his players?Is their inability to consistently find their best form harming Magilton's long-term job prospects?The Blues boss is backing his men, but he could surely expect more from an experienced bunch of players than he got in Saturday's 2-1 home Coca-Cola Championship defeat against Cardiff.

Elvin King

IS Ipswich Town manager Jim Magilton being let down by his players?

Is their inability to consistently find their best form harming Magilton's long-term job prospects?

The Blues boss is backing his men, but he could surely expect more from an experienced bunch of players than he got in Saturday's 2-1 home Coca-Cola Championship defeat against Cardiff.

Poor defending in the first half was followed by a lack of urgency after the interval when there was the chance to fight back in similar fashion to three days earlier when Bristol City were soundly beaten at Portman Road.

From keeper Richard Wright to striker Jon Stead, Magilton selected a team of seasoned professionals.

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He has purposely brought in players with the experience to put Ipswich into promotion contention.

A team of promising youngsters will not do it; with Magilton majoring on those with Premier League experience - Wright, Moritz Volz, Ben Thatcher, Darren Ambrose and Ivan Campo - and the best in the Championship who have potential to improve - Gareth McAuley, Jon Walters, David Norris and Kevin Lisbie.

And although he stands by his players all the way, Magilton must feel let down by his newcomers' inability to grasp the nettle and taste glory with Ipswich Town.

Of course it was his choice who he brought in after being given the backing of club owner Marcus Evans who is now celebrating 12 months in charge at Portman Road.

But Magilton did his homework on each of the 12 he has signed in the last year and could have expected more from them as a collective unit.

“My players are better than they showed against Cardiff,” said Magilton. “They are all hurting and all frustrated.

“Richard Naylor is the type you would like in the trenches beside you, and he was more disappointed than anyone by his display, looking a bit rusty after being out for a while.

“There is quality in this squad and I have great faith in them as they are a great bunch of dedicated lads. Now it is up to them to show it.”

Magilton was handing out Christmas presents at the children's ward of Ipswich Hospital yesterday, and he added: “This is the nice side of football.

“The lads clubbed together to buy gifts and many have young families so they appreciate what good they are doing.

“We have all experienced hospitals at some time, and it is important that we do our bit.

“The players really enjoyed seeing everyone on the wards and putting smiles on their faces. It's great that we can show our support to our community at this time of year.”