Magilton challenges his players

WITH Bristol City boss Gary Johnson expecting a derby defeat backlash and Town fans scenting blood, manager Jim Magilton has challenged his players to right their Carrow Road wrongs tonight.

Derek Davis

WITH Bristol City boss Gary Johnson expecting a derby defeat backlash and Town fans scenting blood, manager Jim Magilton has challenged his players to right their Carrow Road wrongs tonight.

Magilton said: “Bristol are expecting a backlash so let us give it to them.

“We have to look at the quality of our performances. We need to start the game quickly and take the game to Bristol City.


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“Bristol's best performances and results have come away from home so what we will need is a great deal of patience from our players and our supporters.

“We know City are a good footballing side and people will hark back to last season but that was a freak result.

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“They still had more possession of the ball and were a man down so that tells me that they are a team full of great belief and can ball retention.

“There are going to be times when we may not have the ball and nervousness may creep down from the stands and affect the players.

“What we need to recognise is that we have to be patient and hurt them when we can.”

Magilton accepts that the Town fans are smarting after losing at their East Anglian rivals but has called on them to back the team that he is confident will react positively.

He said: “It is easy to say we didn't show spirit after a loss.

“That is not the case. No one goes into a game lacking heart and desire. After 90 minutes people can make those assumptions on what they have seen.

“I can tell you our lads are hurting and now what they have to do is show they are hurting and react in a positive manner.

“What is important to me now is the reaction of the players.

“Without putting too much emphasis on this game, what we need is a positive reaction and show that the Norwich result was a one-off.

“We defended well, but big games like that the margins are narrow and when we had an opportunity we didn't take it, they did.”

Jon Walters may be rested as he is still feeling the effects of a sciatica nerve problem but Magilton is happy that Pablo Counago has recovered from a shin injury and Owen Garvan is fully fit after his virus last week.

Ben Thatcher has also recovered from a stomach bug and could reclaim his place at left back with David Wright going to the right.

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