Jim's backing for under-fire U's boss

BLUES boss Jim Magilton has backed his opposite number Geraint Williams at Colchester United to ride out the storm if criticism he is getting from U's fans.

Derek Davis

BLUES boss Jim Magilton has backed his opposite number Geraint Williams at Colchester United to ride out the storm if criticism he is getting from U's fans.

While a 3-1 win at Swindon will have helped Williams, a section of U's fans have barracked him since the end of last season and again at their new home at Cuckoo Farm.

A small number of U's fans are reported to have handed back their season tickets in protest at Williams' stewardship but Magilton believes Colchester are better off without that sort of supporter.

Magilton said: “I find it incredible that fans are giving him stick bearing in mind what he has achieved at that football club.

“No one will be more hurt than George to have relegation on his CV, especially after they did so well in the Championship the year before, but they have so much going for them

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“The chairman has strong, bright ideas about the football club and they have a fantastic new ground with one of the most outstanding managers/coaches in all four divisions.

“Everything should be positive at that football club so to be jumping on his case is ridiculous.

“The club could do without those sorts of supporters.”

Magilton has the utmost respect for his friend and neighbour, and occasional golf and drinking partner, and the latest team he has assembled.

Magilton said: “I saw them in a friendly at Norwich and he has the basis of a very good side. It is early days and the players are still getting used to the whole helter-skelter of a new season.

“They have a new goalscorer and they will be fine.”

Tonight's tie is vital for both teams and after losing at home to Wolves the pressure is very much on Ipswich progressing after going out to MK Dons last year, Peterborough the year before and Yeovil and Doncaster in previous seasons.

Magilton said: “It is a Carling Cup clash, a local derby under the lights, so I'm really looking forward to the game. George will relish it to.

“They will bring a few fans so it should be a good game.”

Even before Saturday's loss Magilton had planned to make changes, just how many now remains to be seen with defeat not an option.

He said: “It can be a confidence booster. Without the win over Leyton Orient the result at Burnley might have been different.

“I will use the squad as best I can but it is a chance for a cup run. If you manage to get through this round then you can get one of the big boys.”

One player Colchester will miss, to Town's gain, is £750,000 signing Kevin Lisbie but Magilton is refusing to let sentiment get in the way of selection.

He said: “I will not take that into account. If he is picked then I expect him to give 100 per cent. I appreciate if a player has a rapport with a certain club it can be difficult but once he has put the ball into the net he doesn't have to celebrate. He has to put the ball in the net first then worry about it.

“Players do have an affinity with clubs and usually when they go back they score. Then while everyone is delirious they are not doing anything to celebrate.”

He jokingly added: “I might question him if it is 0-0 at a corner and he jumps up and catches the ball.”