Jim spells out season's targets
IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton today spelt out how important this season is to himself - and to the Blues.“We have got to finish higher than last season,” he said.
By Elvin King
IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton today spelt out how important this season is to himself - and to the Blues.
“We have got to finish higher than last season,” he said. “Anything less will not do.
“A top ten place is where I want to be and this is the aim.
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“Our standards will never lessen, and on our day we can beat any side in the Coca-Cola Championship.
“I feel we can win at home, and it is important that we improve our form away from home.”
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Town finished 14th last season having improved one place on Joe Royle's last year in 2005/06.
There will be more pressure on Magilton this season following a honeymoon period after his appointment to succeed Royle last summer.
The Blues begin their campaign with a home game against Brian Laws' Sheffield Wednesday at Portman Road on Saturday.
Optimism is not very high among supporters, but Magilton hopes he can change this within a few weeks.
He added: “I have set myself very high standards.
“I would like to be pushing for top six or top two, but let us get into the top ten first and then push on from there.
“Getting into the top ten is very important to us. Getting off to a good start is important.”
Town were training this afternoon as they continue their policy of replicating match day situations - a policy that paid dividends towards the end of last season.
“We are looking for anything that will give us a slight edge,” said Magilton. “We are trying to push to the limits because it is the little things, little moments that can change a game.
“The 3pm training replicates match days and we want to stick to that. What we don't want is players going home after a morning's training and going for a nap around 3pm.
“It is important for the body clock to get used to playing and not dozing during the afternoons.”
All this is designed to help give the Blues an edge in a fiercely competitive Championship division but one where Magilton feels town can be a surprise package.
Magilton is looking at the three relegated sides as the ones to be to the fore in the in the chase for Premiership places, adding:
“Charlton, Sheffield United and Watford have the budgets to be a real force, with West Brom, Southampton and Wolves also likely to be in the hunt.”
Magilton is expected to field nine of the side that did well against a weakened Panathinaikos in the 2-0 victory last Sunday, with Alan Lee a doubt after a car crash he was involved in this week.
The vacancy left by Gavin Williams' injury is still up for grabs.
Danny Haynes, Jaime Peters, Matt Richards, Gary Roberts are all in the reckoning to keep a balanced midfield by playing on the left, while Sylvain Legwinski could come into central midfield although he is still a little short of match fitness.