New coaching badge, new defending

NEWLY graduated UEFA coach Jim Magilton has been revising the chapter on defending at set plays as he looks to sort out his side's defensive frailties.

Derek Davis

NEWLY graduated UEFA coach Jim Magilton has been revising the chapter on defending at set plays as he looks to sort out his side's defensive frailties.

Although Town have kept two clean sheets in their past three league games the Blues were embarrassed by Wigan in the League Cup on Wednesday especially at corners and free kicks.

Magilton admitted it was back to basics on the training ground as they moved to make those errors a thing of the past.


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He said: “As part of your 'A' licence you have to come up with six defending and six attacking set pieces.

“There is no one more aware than us about the way we are conceding at set plays.

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“It is about each person taking responsibility and doing their jobs.”

“It is not just defending at set play s that Town need to work on.

“We don't score enough from set pieces and we have people who create chances so Gareth McAuley and Richard Naylor need to get more from set plays.

“One of Gareth's biggest strengths is getting his head on the ball in the box. So he needs to get one for us.”

Magilton passed the year-long 'A' licence course which he did through the Northern Ireland FA based in Belfast, and encompassed almost 180 hours work.

He has now started on his UEFA pro licence, which is also a year-long course with an expected 240 hours course-work that all managers will need to have from 2010 in order to take charge of a Premier League club.

More pressingly for Magilton is taking six points from the next two home games starting with Crystal Palace today and putting the lop-sided 4-1 scoreline behind them.

Magilton said: “We will take a lot of positives from the Wigan game. We won our last league game at home and drawn two away which is very satisfying after last year.

“Teams will come here and set up not to lose so we need to earn the right to play.

“We need to start games quickly and get a stranglehold on the game. We have not really gone on after we have scored and dominated.”

Magilton knows Neil Warnock is always a formidable adversary and will be using the 'everything is against us' motivation.

They will be without former Town duo Alan Lee and James Scowcroft while Calvin Andrew and Leandre Griffiths are also out, so have signed Craig Beattie on loan from West Brom.

Magilton said: “They have not done well away, he has injury problems but that all adds to the siege mentality.

“Beattie is a dangerous problem and will be aggrieved that he didn't get an opportunity to play in the Premier League at West Brom so he will be looking to prove a point.

“Those who come back after being sold to another club inevitably end up scoring against their old club so I'm glad they are not playing.”

With Ben Thatcher out with a torn thigh muscle, and Moritz Volz doubtful, Alex Bruce move across to full back, with David Wright fit after a calf injury.

Pim Balkestein and Jaime Peters are on stand-by as back ups.

Academy graduate Kurt Robinson is another option but Magilton feels this could be too early for the former England youth defender.

He added: “Kurt Robinson still learning the game and we are trying to get him out on loan because he needs games.

“He is a good left-footed player, aggressive, and someone in the Matt Richards mould.”

Ipswich Town: R Wright, Bruce, D Wright, Balkestein, Peters, Naylor, McAuley, Campo, Shumulikoski, Miller, Garvan, Norris, Walters, Haynes, Quinn, Counago, Lisbie, Stead.

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Flahavan, Lawrence, Hill, Hills, Fonte, Derry, McCarthy, Ertl, Watson, Ifill, Fletcher, Danns, Oster, Carle, Beattie, Djilali.

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