Jim's dilemma - spend now or later?

SPEND it or save it, that is the dilemma facing Ipswich Town after failing to strengthen in time for their crucial cup tie at Watford.With Alan Lee and Owen Garvan back from suspension next week, Jon Walters free to play and Jason de Vos fit again after breaking a bone in a foot, Town will be at virtual full strength on Monday and the need to find a loanee could lessen.

By Derek Davis

SPEND it or save it, that is the dilemma facing Ipswich Town after failing to strengthen in time for their crucial cup tie at Watford.

With Alan Lee and Owen Garvan back from suspension next week, Jon Walters free to play and Jason de Vos fit again after breaking a bone in a foot, Town will be at virtual full strength on Monday and the need to find a loanee could lessen.

But Magilton is determined that Town will continue to look for the run that could close the 14-point gap between 15th-placed Town and the top six, with 14 games to play.


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While the board is fully committed to backing Magilton, there is a train of thought that spending money on loan players at this stage of the season would be futile and be better used to bring in permanent signings in the summer - unless Town's form slumped further and they started to slip into the relegation dogfight.

The Blues boss is determined that none of his players cruise for the next three months and warned that their futures are on the line.

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Magilton said: “If the need arises then the board would allow me to bring in someone else if the right person came along.

“If we didn't need to spend, then we would keep our powder dry and then get one or two people in during the summer that would improve the squad.

“But what I'm trying to mould a team that is capable of mounting a sustainable challenge and while it is still mathematically possible my eyes are still on the ball for this year.

“Of course we have to win games and at the moment all the signs are that we are not able to do that. We need to send a signal out that they have everything to play for.

“People are playing for their careers at this football club and it will be the manner that they finish this season that dictates what happens next year for a lot of them.”

Magilton said: “It is difficult because few are being made available and if they are on high wages we wouldn't even attempt to bring them in.

“The people we have been looking at are those we can afford and we are not going to stretch resources to the point it would hurt us.”

While Chris Casement is close to making the breakthrough he is having to settle for a place on the bench at the moment. Magilton admits he has high hopes for more of the next tier of young players but they also have to be patient.

He said: “I'm very tempted to bring in a couple. I like the feel I'm getting from that dressing room. They have a real bond forming and a fantastic work ethic.

“But while I feel they have terrific ability I don't feel they are ready for that step up yet. A lot of them will be involved in the first team and be in the squad on a more regular basis.”

Liam Trotter is another who is pushing for a first team squad place and is likely to be involved at Watford this weekend and will only be allowed out on another loan if he is assured of playing regularly.

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