Town stars hold clear-the-air talks

STRAIGHT-TALKING Ipswich Town stars have been using their weekend jaunt to Dublin to hold clear the air talks in order to ease pressure on their under-fire manager Jim Magilton.

Derek Davis

STRAIGHT-TALKING Ipswich Town stars have been using their weekend jaunt to Dublin to hold clear the air talks in order to ease pressure on their under-fire manager Jim Magilton.

The Cardiff players flew into Wattisham Airfield and spent time looking around Apache helicopters before beating Ipswich 2-1 at Portman Road.

City and Ipswich players then left for Stansted immediately after the game for their respective Christmas parties with the Blues squad going to Dublin and the Bluebirds going to Jim Magilton's home city of Belfast.

Goal-getter Jon Stead believes the Ipswich players need to take responsibility for the Blues disappointing first half to the season which sees team in 12th place today.

Before jetting off, Stead said: “It is not the manager's fault we gave away two goals and we know that.

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“The managers and coaching staff are helping us, but the players have to take responsibility. Once we cross the white line it is up to us to put in a performance.

“We can clear the air and have discussions when we are away, but at the same time it can be a couple of days to forget about football and enjoy ourselves. Then we can come back refreshed and kick-on again.

“We are all pretty down and although we should be away enjoying ourselves for a couple of days it will be hard because we lost.

“It might not be as lively as we thought it might be.”

Stead scored his sixth goal of the season to give Town hope, but it was not enough to get a point from Cardiff who are now fifth in the Championship.

The former Sheffield United striker bought by Magilton in September believes they can improve in the second half of the season.

He said: “The feeling in the dressing room is that we have to keep doing what we are doing. In the past two games we have done well and showed great character.

“Today we gave away two silly goals and put ourselves up against, but in terms of commitment we are okay.

“We need to stick together and keep going.”

Town weren't helped by the sending off of defender Ben Thatcher for two bookable fouls on Wayne Routledge in a game that got quite feisty in the latter stages, but Stead insists there were no bad feelings with the Welsh club's players as they went of for the Christmas break.

He said; “There are no problems with the Cardiff lads. It all settled down very quickly after the game.

“The referee made a lot of the challenges, but on a slippery surface and the way the game was going there was always going to be challenges but none were too bad.”

The Blues stars are due back from their break in Ireland today and back in full training tomorrow ahead of their Championship clash at Coventry City on Saturday.