Terrace protests have yet to fan flames

IF Ipswich Town fail to come up with the goods in their next two Coca-Cola Championship games, Jim Magilton's long-term future as Blues manager could be hanging by a thread.

Elvin King

IF Ipswich Town fail to come up with the goods in their next two Coca-Cola Championship games, Jim Magilton's long-term future as Blues manager could be hanging by a thread.

The vast majority of Town fans will surely be doing all they can from the sidelines to spur Magilton's men on to victory against Blackpool at Portman Road this afternoon (kick-off 3pm).

It will be a test of whether his players are playing for him - as a failure to start closing the gap on the top six over the next week will surely leave too much to do in the remaining weeks of the season.


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Magilton was close to winning the January manager of the month award, but after spending �12million fans' expectations are such that a slipping down from last season's eighth-place will not be deemed good enough.

Town supporters are as loyal as any - apart from a noisy minority - and many will continue to back their manager and look ahead to an improved 2009/10.

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But an increasing number will not, and as sad as it looks a defining moment in Magilton's managerial career has arrived.

Ipswich entertain Nottingham Forest on Wednesday, and the next five days gives an ideal opportunity to put aside any unrest.

But Town have only won consecutive league games once this inconsistent season - and nothing can be guaranteed.

Ipswich's home form has been poor and they have gained more points away (22) than they have at Portman Road (21) although they have played one more away match.

Overall Ipswich have won 11 games, drawn 10 games and lost 10, and the indications are that 2008/09 will be looked back upon as a mediocre one - and not in line with a club that had a big financial advantage over most of its rivals.

There are conflicting messages coming out from the inner sanctum of Portman Road - one that the manager still has owner Marcus Evans' full backing and is in no danger of being removed, and another that suggests all has often not been well within the squad when it comes to man management.

Showing the spirit necessary to keep Town in the play-off hunt, on-loan defender Moritz Volz says that he is desperate to get back into the first team after a month out with a groin problem.

“I got through 90 minutes in a reserve game on Tuesday and I've had a full week's training,” said the Fulham player who is at Portman Road for the season.

“I should be in contention for the squad against Blackpool and Nottingham Forest next midweek.

“To be honest, I can't wait to get back into action so hopefully I'll get to make my return soon.”

Town beat Colchester reserves 9-2 at the Ipswich Training Ground on Tuesday in terrible conditions, and Volz quipped: “I lost count of the score after a while, but I think it ended up something like 9-2.

“But even that wasn't enough goals for me to get on the score sheet. The closest I got was being fifth in line to take one of our two first half penalties!”

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