Jim: No time for excuses

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton today looked ahead to the forthcoming Coca-Cola Championship Christmas programme and said: “It is now about producing.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton today looked ahead to the forthcoming Coca-Cola Championship Christmas programme and said: “It is now about producing.”

Increasingly under fire from frustrated Blues fans after a disappointing first half of the season, Magilton says that the time for excuses is over.

He will be looking to his players to show their true colours when they visit Coventry on Saturday, entertain Birmingham on Boxing Day and then play Derby County two days later.

A good Christmas and Town could be in a play-off position. A poor one and their play-off hopes will surely have disappeared - and Magilton will be under even more pressure.

Happy to issue his own half-time report exclusively to the Evening Star, Magilton said: “I know we must do better.

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“The players I brought in have had time to settle now.

“They now know about me and this club - and where we want to go. Now is the time to produce.

“There is no reason for excuses any more, and we must rise another notch.

“We are aware that we have not been firing on all cylinders on the field where it matters.

“When we had a run of one defeat in 12 league games we were still in-between and not performing with the confidence I would like to see.”

And Magilton, who along with Jon Walters, Ivan Campo, Pablo Counago and Jordan Rhodes brought cheer to Bergholt ward of Ipswich Hospital with sackfuls of presents for young patients, had this seasonal message to Town supporters: “There is a fantastic opportunity in front of us at this club over the next few months. We are not that far away from the play-offs.

“We have not hit the heights and were flat on Saturday. I will not accept that.

“Yes, I want to do better. Putting three wins together would be massive for us and as I have said before once this squad gets on a roll they will take some stopping.

“I know given time we will see a successful Ipswich side that our fans deserve to see.

“Once confidence levels increase our consistency will improve.

“Nothing is set in stone, but there could be one or two players to come in during the transfer window next month.

“I am dedicated to winning more football matches in what is a results-driven industry.”

And when asked about his tactical skills, the former Town fans' favourite during his Portman Road playing days answered: “Yes I have a plan A and when that doesn't happen a plan B as we showed when we comprehensively beat Burnley at Turf Moor in our second game of the season.

“If we have a good Christmas it will give us a springboard for the rest of the season.

“Both sides will think they can win at Coventry, but it is a game we can take if we play at our best.

“And the players will need no motivating for the visit to Portman Road of Birmingham.

“We have given some exceptional performances, but we have also thrown away points in games like Charlton and Sheffield United. And we have played poorly at Doncaster and Norwich.”

Team captain Gareth McAuley will be assessed later in the week after taking a knock in Saturday's drab home defeat against Cardiff while Walters is still playing through the pain barrier while suffering from a long-term thigh problem and may need a rest so that the medics can get to the root of the cause.