No easy run in for Magilton

BLUES boss Jim Magilton has rejected suggestions his side have the easiest run in for the promotion chase.

Derek Davis

BLUES boss Jim Magilton has rejected suggestions his side have the easiest run in for the promotion chase.

Town go to league leaders Stoke tomorrow then face a series of tough tests in the remaining dozen games, including derby matches at Colchester and home to Norwich, as well as a visit from play-off challengers Charlton.

Magilton is well aware too many points dropped will seriously undermine their challenge in a division where surprise results are common-place.

Although the Blues have to play just three top ten teams in their final 13 matches, while other sides in the top six have to play between five and seven, Magilton said: “I don't go along with that we have the easiest run in because you are always only one loss away from a slip in confidence.

“You need to be 100 per cent spot on in your preparation or you will lose, results have shown that.

Most Read

“Plymouth are flying now and we know that anyone in this division on their day are as good as anyone else.

“It is going to go to the wire and we have to go in believing we can win every game and we see where that takes us.”

That said Magilton also believes his side are good enough to not only be among the promotion candidates vying for a play-off place but challenging for an automatic top two spot.

He said: “It is not impossible to finish top two. If we get on a roll and are winning game, as you get closer the belief grows. Look at Sunderland who went on an unbelievable run to get promoted last season.”

After wins away at Sheffield Wednesday and Crystal Palace, followed by the home victory over Blackpool last Saturday, Town are in fine fettle to face Stoke whose manager Tony Pulis watched them in person at Portman Road.

After getting a 1-1 draw here last month, Pulis will be looking to see how Town have improved with their new additions.

Magilton said: “Pulis had not seen us with the new signing so I'm not sure if he feels we are any different. I feel we are better equipped to go to stoke than we were six weeks ago and two away wins will have helped the confidence.

“He will be aware of our strengths and weaknesses as he perceives them but it will be about who is better on the day. He will be wary of us but confident his team can get a result.”

With just one loss in their previous 16 league games, Stoke have surged to the top and scored goals on the way, netting three or more goals in nine of the 15 results and Magilton warned people should not run away with ill-conceived pre-conceptions about the Potters' style.

He said: “They are not all about brute strength. They have players who can play and a lot of talented boys.

“Their platform for their good play is based on a very solid back four and that allows the more talented lads to go and flourish.

“Grant Whelan is an excellent buy from Sheffield Wednesday and he has caught something different to their midfield while Liam Lawrence and Ricardo Fuller are scoring goals

“It is a fantastic game for us another challenge for us but we are better equipped now and the lads will look forward to it and go there relishing the challenge, rather than feeling intimidated.”

Magilton is hoping to be able to field the same starting XI for the third game running with no fresh injuries this week.