Jim: I regret reaction to substitution

BLUES skipper Jim Magilton last night spoke of his regret at his furious reaction at being substituted during Town's draw with Cardiff City on Sunday.

BLUES skipper Jim Magilton last night spoke of his regret at his furious reaction at being substituted during Town's draw with Cardiff City on Sunday, writes Derek Davis.

Magilton, and striker Shekfi Kuqi, made no secret of their anger at being hauled off by manager Joe Royle in the 58th minute of the draw, which proved enough to send Ipswich into the play-offs.

While Kuqi kicked a corner flag in frustration, Magilton threw off his skipper's armband, although both players shook hands with their replacements before refusing to take their place in the dug-out.

With a face like thunder, Magilton disappeared like lightning down the tunnel after being replaced but insisted the storm is over.

He said: "My reaction was poor. I'm the skipper of the team and should lead by example. That said, I have always worn my heart on my sleeve and tend to react without thinking.

"People who know me, know I can't change. I wish I had not done it but I did and I have to live with that and now I have to be big enough to face whatever retribution comes my way.

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"That game is gone and now I'm looking forward to Saturday's game."

Magilton admitted he had not played well and that had added to the frustration as he knew he could not do anything to put things right.

The Ulsterman said: "I was bitterly disappointed with my own performance.

"It was very disappointing for both of us. You know the game is over for you and you can't rectify anything. You can not do the things you want to do to change the game."

It was not the first time Kuqi had shown his anger at being replaced; at Gillingham he kicked a wall on the way to the dressing room, this time Magilton trudged off with him.

Town manager Royle shrugged off the incident saying after the match that he knew Jim had had a sense of humour failure but made light of it and everything was back to normal at training yesterday.

Magilton said: "It is the manager's decision and made for the good of the side. There is no need to say anything really, it is over.

"The Gaffer has just shrugged it off. He has put the rattle back in the pram."

While Magilton admitted to not playing well, he was not the only under-performer but would he have brought himself off if he were the manager?

He smiled: "No. I would not have but then I'm biased. That said, I know I did not play very well.

"None of us did in midfield. For some reason it looked as if Cardiff had more to play for than we did.

"Perhaps it was the nerves but it certainly seemed to affect a lot of people and not just at Ipswich.

"None of six teams which were involved in trying to get a play-off place won and that says it all."

The Northern Ireland international and the Finland striker did not say much as they sat in the empty dressing room for the final half-hour of the game.

Magilton admitted: "There was not much consoling between the two of us but we perked up when we heard we had made the play-offs."

* Ipswich have sold all of their allocation of tickets for the second leg of the play-off semi-final against West Ham on Tuesday.

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