Magilton can't afford to be sentimental

JIM Magilton will shove aside all feeling he has for his old club Southampton and make sure it is all business tonight.

Derek Davis

JIM Magilton will shove aside all feeling he has for his old club Southampton and make sure it is all business tonight.

The Blues boss made his Saints debut against Liverpool under Alan Ball after joining from Oxford and went on to have a happy career before leaving as skipper to join Saturday's opponents Sheffield Wednesday.

Magilton said: “I love Southampton. They gave me the opportunity to play in the Premier League. I loved Alan Ball, he was a fantastic man and a great coach and I loved playing for him.

“There are so many parallels with Ipswich and we love the place. My son Adam was born there so we will always have an affinity with the area and I will always have an affinity for the football club.

While Magilton still has happy memories, especially when they were at the Dell, he goes back very much as the Ipswich town manager with just one thought in mind.

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He said: “It is all business now. When you go back as a player you just want to win and it is all emotional but I have been back enough time snow not to let that emotion take over.

“I went as a manager last year and it was all hand shakes and memories but I realised that Ipswich is my club now and while it will be nice to see everyone again it will be business this time.”

Magilton, along with chief scout Steve McCall, ran the rule over his old club on Sunday when they got beat 4-1 by QPR at Loftus Road but was impressed with the way the Saints marched on.

He said: “At 1-1 down to 10 men they had a very dubious goal given against them and Southampton showed a lot of character.

“They have a lot of young players who are enjoying the experience of the championship and are doing the club very proud.

Dexter Blackstock is at QPR, Theo Walcott at Arsenal, and went to Coventry.

Magilton said: “The manager is using the young home grown players and that is their way out of the Championship

“They produce good young players so if you look at both sides they like to push through their young players.

“They are at home and wounded while we are on the back of a very good win after beating reading which should lift the confidence.

“We need to go and impose ourselves.”

With Gareth McAuley and Ben Thatcher still doubtful with dead legs, Magilton is musing who to use.

He left Alex Bruce behind last night with the reserves and will choose between Dutchman Pim Balkestein and Spaniard Iván Campo with the youngster in pole position after going in as a substitute in the 2-0 win over Reading.

Magilton said: “It was a gamble but I just felt he could come in. If it had been much later in the game I would have thrown Iván for his experience but as it was the 25th minute then I felt Pim would have been better.

“All through pre-season Tommy (Smith) and Pim were vying for that position but I felt we needed a natural left-footer there so Pim got the nod and did very well.

Although Thatcher has done some light jogging and will be checked again this morning but it is likely David Wright will keep his place.

Jon Walters has stitches and bruising to a head wound and medical advice will be taken before risking him against Southampton and could well be left until Saturday at Sheffield Wednesday.

That will pave the way for Danny Haynes to start unless Magilton plunges David Norris back in on the right side. Alan Quinn is a doubt with a tight hamstring but Jon Stead has shown he can play out on the left if needed which would allow Kevin Lisbie to come in with Pablo Counago.

Southampton: Davis, Forecast, James, Perry, Cork, Surman, Skacel, Wotton, Gillett, Lallana, Dyer, McGoldrick, Schneiderling,

Ipswich Town: R Wright, Supple, Volz, D Wright, Naylor, Balkestein, Campo, Norris, Haynes, Trotter, Miller, Garvan, Shumulikoski, Quinn, Walters, Stead, Counago, Lisbie.