Jim sets out his stall for promotion

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton today set out his stall for promotion to the Premier League.With eight games to go in the Coca-Cola Championship starting at Scunthorpe on Saturday, the Blues' boss said: “If we win five or possibly six of those we should qualify for the play-offs.

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton today set out his stall for promotion to the Premier League.

With eight games to go in the Coca-Cola Championship starting at Scunthorpe on Saturday, the Blues' boss said: “If we win five or possibly six of those we should qualify for the play-offs.

“Then we can take it from there as we look to gain promotion.”

But Magilton warned that although Town's next two away matches are against the sides in the bottom two of the division with Colchester the next team that Ipswich visit, these matches will be far from easy.

“I would prefer to play a team in the middle of the table than ones that are fighting for their lives to avoid relegation,” said Magilton.

“I think this year the play-offs will be gained with lower points than normal with 75 considered to be a target to confirm qualification.

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“But this year it could be a few points less than that with so many clubs involved that they will be taking points off each other.”

Magilton will have to decide which players to bring in to add to his squad to the trip to Scunthorpe as he confirmed today that Richard Naylor and David Norris are very big doubts for Saturday.

And with Jonathan Walters having had an operation on a knee cartilage and Shefki Kuqi recovering from a hamstring injury the Blues' boss will be short on experience.

He added: “Richard (Naylor) saw a specialist in London about his slipped disc problem in his neck and it is a possibility that he will have to go under the knife.

“This is bad news for him and we will review the situation after Easter.

“David (Norris) had an injection on his troublesome heel a month ago and he is a major doubt for Saturday. We will not rush him and hopefully he will be at 100 per cent for our home match with QPR on Saturday week.”

Walters is recovering well from his operation and there is still hopes that he will be fit enough to take part in the latter games of the season while there is better news of Kuqi. Magilton described the striker's injury as being a slight spasm.

“It is not as bad as we first feared,” said Magilton.

“He is a fast healer and although he is not available this weekend we will assess Shefki and see where he stands.”

Magilton confirmed that he is hoping to bring in one if not two loan players by the deadline next Thursday but nothing will happen until after Easter.