Pressure on Jim put in context by exits

AS THE 2008/09 season starts to evolve the number of managerial casualties is increasing, with three departing this week.

Elvin King

AS THE 2008/09 season starts to evolve the number of managerial casualties is increasing, with three departing this week.

Aidy Boothroyd went on Monday after his Watford side dropped down to 21st place in the Coca-Cola Championship table.

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans may look back and rate the public backing he gave manager Jim Magilton as one of his most significant acts since taking control of the Blues.

Once the reclusive Evans came out and officially put his seal of approval on statements from chief executive Derek Bowden that Magilton's position is secure a huge dark cloud was removed from above Portman Road.

The atmosphere for the last two home matches has been much more convivial, and this surely played a part in the Blues wearing down and then convincingly beating a competitive Queens Park Rangers side last weekend.

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Town's fans got right behind their side - after a lid was just about kept on proceedings during the three previous Portman Road games as Ipswich slid down the table.

And to prove what a narrow dividing line exists between success and failure you only have to look at the Championship table on Saturday night, October 18.

Watford had just won 3-0 at Southampton to stand in 16th place with 14 points - one point and two places above Ipswich.

Town's eight points from their following four matches has seen them move up to eighth place while the Hornets have sunk further down the table.

It has been a timely improvement for Ipswich regardless of the secure position that Magilton rightfully finds himself in.

And although it is too early to get too carried away, there are now reasons to be optimistic about Town's immediate future.

With poor results over the past fortnight it could have been so different.

It has been a disastrous 12 months at Vicarage Road with Watford picking up just 12 wins in the last 50 league matches to fall from promotion contenders to relegation strugglers.

In that time they beat Town three times, and were the only league side to win on Suffolk soil last season.

Watford chairman Graham Simpson is backing Boothroyd to bounce back saying: “We both felt at this moment in time he'd gone as far as he could with the club.

“He has already proved himself, what we've decided now is it's time to move on and look at the future.

“There is tremendous pressure being a manager, you see it week in and week out.

“Aidy is a good manager but even young managers occasionally need a rest. Aidy will come again and will be a successful manager, I have no doubt about that.”