Jim gets shirty over bookings rule

BLUES boss Jim Magilton wants the rule that punishes players for celebrating goals by taking their shirts off scrapped.And Magilton has backed calls for a longer international break during the Christmas period.

By Derek Davis

BLUES boss Jim Magilton wants the rule that punishes players for celebrating goals by taking their shirts off scrapped.

And Magilton has backed calls for a longer international break during the Christmas period.

Although the Blues have had two red cards rescinded this season - Alex Bruce and George O'Callaghan - the club's disciplinary record is the worst in its history and Magilton is determined to stamp out bad behaviour by his players. But he refuses to condemn them for enjoying goals or standing up for themselves and their team- mates.


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The Irishman will have to endure watching the games against Leeds United and Cardiff City from the stands after his own dismissal against Preston, which he insists he has learned from.

Magilton said: “I'd like the silly bookings to stop but I'm not going to take away their competitive edge.

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“If one of our guys is in trouble then I expect all our team to be around him and look after him because that is what teamwork is all about. If you can generate that sort of spirit of looking after my mate then that is what we want.”

Magilton believes it is a poor understanding of what it means to score a goal in the professional game that forced referees to book joyous players under the law-makers' directives.

He said: “I would like to see it scrapped. It is a stupid rule but until it is changed we will tell the players that they can't take the shirt of.

“If you have played this game you will know that the elation of scoring a goal sends you off your trolley.”

Magilton is in favour of having an extended international break around Christmas time

The Blues boss said: “It is a great idea and one I fully endorse. It will give players time to recharge their batteries and lessen the risk of injuries.

“The second half of the season is when it all happens, it really builds up so if the players can come back refreshed and ready then it can only make it even more exciting.

“If it helps the international managers too then great, but my concern is Ipswich Town and I feel it will help us.”

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