Magilton may face lengthy touchline ban

BLUES Boss Jim Magilton faces a touchline ban of up to six games after being sent to the stand at Stoke.Magilton is in hot water for the third time inside a year after venting his fury at referees.

Derek Davis

BLUES Boss Jim Magilton faces a touchline ban of up to six games after being sent to the stand at Stoke.

Magilton is in hot water for the third time inside a year after venting his fury at referees.

He was sent to the stand during the 1-0 loss at Preston last March and was handed a two match ban. Straight talking to the match official following Town's 2-2 draw at Burnley in October, when Pablo Counago was wrongly ruled offside in the dying minutes, brought about a slap on the wrists and fine at Preston.

Although Magilton could be hammered with a six game ban it is more likely he will have to watch three or four games from on high following his outburst to referee Mick Jones over the multi-ball system at Stoke.

Magilton anger was exacerbated by Jones' seemingly patronising manner in explaining the multi-ball system to a manager who also has 52 international caps.

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Magilton said: "We've had bad experiences with it at this football club and I think the ball had to come in a little bit quicker.

"I just ran by him to get the ball and the referee came over to have a word with me and I explained in a very calm manner but he was not having it."The referee tried to explain the multi-ball to me but I'm an educated boy. I asked the referee about the multi-ball not being fair. We were chasing the game and the ball has not come in quickly.

“It is a bad system. We do not deploy the multi-ball at Ipswich because I believe we do things properly.”

"Of course he then becomes the centre of attention and I get sent to the stand."

Stoke are also likely to feel the wrath of the footballing authorities after Magilton dodged a can and bottle hurled at him as he went down the touchline, but that it particularly bothered him.

Magilton added: "I'm from West Belfast, are you having a laugh?"

Stoke boss Tony Pulis admitted the system was flawed and would be looking at it.

He said: “We don't use apprentices, we use kids from our community programme and sometimes they do sit on the ball.”

Pulis was more concerned about keeping his team at the top, and doesn't mind if that means not being as free scoring as they have been.

With just one defeat in 18 league games, stoke have also hit three or more goals in nine of 17 matches but would not be getting carried away.

He said: “I have been in this game too long to take anything for granted and if we keep doing then right things we will be fine.

“Unless we keep doing the right things we will get out pants pulled down and get our backsides slapped.”

“If we get 12 one-nils from now until end of season I will be doing somersaults.”

Liam Lawrence scored the winner, but insisted it was not his best ever goal.

He said: “I scored one for Sunderland against Fulham which was better.”