Jim tipped to be a success

JIM Magilton was today tipped to make Queens Park Rangers into serious Championship promotion contenders next season.

Elvin King

JIM Magilton was today tipped to make Queens Park Rangers into serious Championship promotion contenders next season.

The 40-year-old was confirmed manager at Loftus Road yesterday, and his former skipper at Ipswich Town, Jason De Vos, says that he has every faith in Magilton's ability to take the Londoners into the Premier League.

Magilton was sacked from his managerial position at Portman Road six weeks ago, and has taken on one the most precarious jobs in world football with Rangers having six previous managers in the last 20 months.

De Vos, who also sees the Blues under the stewardship of Roy Keane making a promotion challenge, said: “I have long believed Jim would be a success as a manager and nothing that has happened over his three years in charge at Ipswich has altered my opinion.

“He has desire, appetite and self-belief, and has the potential to boss at the highest level.

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“I played under a number of managers, and learned a lot from Jim.

“His tactical understanding is superb.

“And his man-management skills have improved. At first it was a problem for him dealing with players of lesser ability than he had as a player.

“He has got better and better and I know how desperately disappointed he was not to take Ipswich up.

“But it is not easy to get up from the Championship as QPR also found out last season.

“Sometimes you have to take a step back to take two steps forward and I can see both QPR and Ipswich fighting for at least play-off places if not automatic promotion.”

De Vos says that Magilton will be stronger for his time in charge of Ipswich.

“Jim has the inner strength and determination to take no notice of the knockers and he remains confident in his own ability.

“Don't forget he lost five experienced voices from his dressing room over the last year and these people take time to replace.”

Apart from De Vos, who hung up his boots to work in the media in his native Canada, Richard Naylor, Fabian Wilnis, Sylvain Legwinski and Alan Lee also departed Portman Road.

Magilton's first win as manager came at Loftus Road in August 2006 after three league games and one Carling Cup tie where he failed to taste any success.

Rangers left back Damien Delaney interested Magilton a year ago, and Keane is reported to be considering an offer for the Republic of Ireland international. Magilton may well scupper any hopes Town had of this signing now.

Ipswich's two games with wealthy Rangers will have extra spice next season with Magilton becoming the fifth permanent manager at the west London club since chairman Flavio Briatore arrived on the scene in October 2007.

John Gregory, Luigi De Canio, Magilton's pal Iain Dowie and Paulo Sousa have all come and gone, along with caretakers Mick Harford and Gareth Ainsworth - who has been at the helm twice.

With the wealth of co-owner Briatore and fellow investors Bernie Ecclestone and Lakshmi Mittal at the club's disposal, Magilton will be expected to mount a swift challenge.

“We had an incredibly high number of applicants, but Jim was the stand-out candidate for the role,” said Briatore.

“We sat down with him on four separate occasions over the last month to discuss our goals and ambitions and he has really impressed with his knowledge, understanding and passion for football.

“He did a very good job at Ipswich Town, playing some fine, attacking football, and he has great ambition to achieve in this next chapter of his managerial career.”