Royle: My admiration for Jim

FORMER Ipswich Town manager Joe Royle today spoke out in support of his troubled successor Jim Magilton.

Josh Warwick

FORMER Ipswich Town manager Joe Royle today spoke out in support of his troubled successor Jim Magilton.

Royle, currently in his second spell in charge of League One outfit Oldham Athletic, believes the huge investment by Town owner Marcus Evans on the playing side has put an added burden on the young Northern Irish boss.

Fans' expectations have risen sharply, with sections of the Portman Road faithful calling for Magilton's head as his team languishes in tenth place, some seven points off the play-offs with only six games remaining.

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Royle, on the other hand has arguably never been more popular with Ipswich supporters who remember how he took the club to two play-offs against a backdrop of administration and the bulk selling of the best players.

The veteran manager, who turns 60 next week, said of the man he made club captain: “It's a hard job. Jim has the opposite extreme to what I faced - when a club has money to spend, fans instantly expect big things. Ipswich have spent substantially so the expectation levels rise.

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“But I have a lot of time for Jim as a man and as a footballer. I admire him immensely. I wish him well and I wish the club well.

“I am still in touch with plenty of people at the Ipswich - I speak to chief executive Derek Bowden regularly and I have spoken to chairman David Sheepshanks. There was never any animosity when I left.

“Everton were always my club. I grew up supporting them and I played for them, but every club I managed was dear to me - and all four played in blue! Ipswich is special to me - I look for their scores every week and I always read the websites to find out what's going on. I love Ipswich Town - I have a lot of time for the club.”

Read the full interview in the Green'Un inside today's Star.

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