Jim's hat-trick mission

JIM Magilton will be seeking only his fourth run of three consecutive victories when Ipswich Town visit Preston North End in the Coca-Cola Championship tomorrow.

Elvin King

By ELVIN KING

elvin.king@archant.co.uk

JIM Magilton will be seeking only his fourth run of three consecutive victories when Ipswich Town visit Preston North End in the Coca-Cola Championship tomorrow.


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Wins against Nottingham Forest at home and Queens Park Rangers in an exhilarating 3-1 display at Loftus Road last Saturday have transformed the outlook at Portman Road.

From being the subject of calls for his dismissal, Magilton is now flavour of the month again having lifted his team to within two points of the play-offs.

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A victory at Deepdale could put Town into the top six and really set Portman Road buzzing.

But Alan Irvine's Preston are sixth and will provide a severe test.

Magilton's first three wins were on the trot after taking over from Joe Royle in the summer of 2006, and he has only experienced this twice since.

Town's inconsistency this term has been summed up by their inability to win consecutive league matches on only two occasions.

Four Town players will be looking to keep out of trouble with the referee at Deepdale.

Gareth McAuley, Alex Bruce, Tommy Miller and Jon Stead are all on four cautions and a booking on Saturday will see them serve a one-match ban.

From March 1 players receiving five yellow cards get away with a warning and no ban.

Ivan Campo is also on four yellows although he will not feature at Preston because of a tear in his calf. He is making good progress and should be available before the end of the month.

Town have re-arranged their home Championship game against Burnley for Tuesday, March 17. This is unless the Clarets draw their FA Cup game against Arsenal in which case Burnley will visit Portman Road on April 7.

Next Saturday March 7, when Burnley were originally meant to play Town, the Blues are now hosting Watford in the re-staging of the FA Youth Cup game abandoned earlier this month because of rain in the 88th minute. This will kick-off at 3pm.

N (SQUARE) BLUE Square Premier Grays Athletic have taken Tony Dinning on loan from League Two Chester City. Dinning once spent time on loan with Ipswich Town.

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Jim Magilton's three-timers

August 25 2006 QPR 3-1 (a), September 9 2006 Southampton 2-1 (h) and September 12 2006 Coventry 2-1 (h).

January 16 2007 Chester 1-0 (h), January 20 2007 Colchester 3-2 (h), January 27 2007 Swansea 1-0 (h).

March 17 2007 Luton 2-0 (a), March 31 2007 Plymouth 3-0 (h), April 7 2007 Barnsley 5-1 (h).

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