McAuley honoured to lead Town

GARETH McAuley today expressed his honour at captaining Ipswich Town for the first time.

Elvin King

GARETH McAuley today expressed his honour at captaining Ipswich Town for the first time.

But Blues manager Jim Magilton insists that the player to take over from Jason De Vos as skipper at Portman Road has still to be decided.

McAuley, signed from Leicester City this summer, showed considerable authority as Ipswich came from behind to draw 1-1 with League Two Gillingham at the Priestfield Stadium last night.

He is favourite to fill De Vos' boots having taken over the number four shirt from the Canadian who has returned to his home country since the end of last season.

“There are a lot of senior players at the club, and I am not reading anything into being given the arm band last night,” said McAuley.

Most Read

“At the end of the day it will be up to the gaffer.

“I enjoyed my role last night and paying a bit more attention to organising things.

“It is an honour to captain any club, and it certainly was to lead Ipswich Town on to the field.”

Magilton, who was generally pleased with his side's performance at Gillingham despite a sluggish first period, confirmed that he is still looking to appoint his leader on the field.

Magilton said: “I have been handing the arm band around to see who has the right leadership qualities.

“I have not made my mind up yet, but will do so in time to have the right person in place by August 9.

“Gareth has done the job before and he is certainly one of the candidates.”

McAuley has settled in to his new club and says that pre-season is going well.

“We have our targets that we are keeping to ourselves,” he said. “We will have benefited from last night's game - I know I certainly did to get 90 minutes under my belt.

“It was a tough game, which was good and just what we wanted after Ireland.

“Fitness-wise it is coming together and we know we have a tougher match against West Brom on Saturday.”

McAuley revealed that Czech Republic defender Roman Hublic does not speak a word of English.

“He had had just one training session, and playing alongside him there was a breakdown in communications at times,” said McAuley.

Honduran left-sided midfielder or full-back Emilio Izaguirre watched the game and will now set about trying to impress Magilton in a trial that is expected to last for a fortnight.

As things stand he is not eligible to play in friendly games.