Jim will stand or fall on results

JIM Magilton will stand or fall as Ipswich Town manager on results over the remaining weeks of the season.

Elvin King

JIM Magilton will stand or fall as Ipswich Town manager on results over the remaining weeks of the season.

Despite what owner Marcus Evans says in his statement issued at midnight this is the case.

Tonight Magilton's Blues play Nottingham Forest at Portman Road in what is being termed a do- or-die encounter.

Win and there is still an outside chance of promotion to Evans' 'Promised Land' (Premier League) this season.

Lose and Town will without doubt be in the Coca-Cola Championship again in 2009/10.

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While Evans' message to the fans in the only way he communicates - through club statements - is timely to ease tension on and off the field before tonight's game and also to give Magilton a 'vote of confidence' there is one significant point that he makes.

He says: “As I have previously stated, I am here for the long-term. So let's not pre-judge the situation and let's see where we are at the end of the season.”

In other words if results don't improve between now and May there will be changes afoot.

There are only so many times a man who has full control at Portman Road can influence and convince fans all is well through 'statements'.

Until he is seen on TV, heard on radio and gives personal newspaper interviews his 'hold' and standing among supporters will gradually decline.

The reclusive Evans needs Town to go up as much as Magilton or increasingly face the prospect of being on the receiving end of wrath from supporters for the way the club is run.

What effect Evans' statement has on tonight's proceedings remains to be seen, but Blues assistant manager John Gorman is convinced Blues fans will give the manager and team full backing.

A pre-match demonstration is being planned by disgruntled Town followers to try and convince Evans to dispense with the services of Magilton.

But Gorman, who has ruled himself out of replacing Magilton in the Town hot seat, believes the rank and file will continue to back the manager.

Gorman said: “A few people may show their feelings, but most of our fans have been wonderful and that's what I'm expecting again tonight.

“If anything, they'll be even more behind us.

“Our fans were so good to us on Saturday, and the one thing we don't want is for supporters not to be on our side.

“They're part of the team and we need them. Without their support it would be like being a man short.

“I'm pleading with Ipswich Town followers to stick with Jim.

“He's giving his heart and soul and everyone's behind him at this club.

“He's a young manager who desperately wants to do well, and he has taken the criticism in his stride.”

Looking ahead to tonight's match Gorman added: “We've just got to be a bit more composed in front of goal.

“That was the only thing missing at the weekend. We did score a goal after 17 passes, and if it had been Swansea who scored it would have been labelled a wonder goal.”