Lewington desperate to end hoodoo
STOP Jim Magilton and you stop Ipswich. That is the belief of Watford manager Ray Lewington, who is desperate for a victory over Town for the first time in his career, writes Derek Davis.
STOP Jim Magilton and you stop Ipswich.
That is the belief of Watford manager Ray Lewington, who is desperate for a victory over Town for the first time in his career, writes Derek Davis.
During all his years in football Lewington has rarely enjoyed good fortune against the Blues and he points at the Blues skipper as the main nemesis in recent years.
Lewington said: “Jim Magilton pulls all the strings and the game-plan is to try and stop them passing but with the best intentions, that is not easy. People have been trying to shut down Magilton for years.”
But he has also spotted a chink in Town's style of play.
Lewington revealed: “They will put four or five passes together without moving the ball out of their half. We must not get over-eager.
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“There are some good footballing sides and Ipswich, along with West Ham, are probably the best in this division. They can score goals, from all departments.
“They play a controlled passing game. They will come expecting to win, which is not a bad thing. We usually play better against teams that come at us. But we mustn't get frustrated - there will be times when we can't get at them, and that is when we must keep the discipline.”
The Watford boss is also trying to get his players to think more positively after surprising many pundits by starting the season well.
They have conceded just 12 goals - only Reading, Wigan and Burnley have let in less - while scoring 17, and sit comfortably above mid-table.
Lewington knows his players have the stamina, the legs and the heart for the battle but feels they have got to have more belief in their ability.
He said: “I still feel we can do better. When we are on top we still don't look as if we feel we are in command. Sunderland looked more assured on the ball than us. I know we can do better, we look a bit nervy as if we don't feel we can keep the ball.
“They don't realise they can improve and they are a better side,”
He is hoping this is the day they can rise to the challenge and give him a rare good night after an Ipswich encounter.
He added: “We need a win, that much is obvious and I would like one against Ipswich, a side I have not had much joy against throughout my career as player, coach and manager. It is about overdue.”
Watford are likely to be unchanged from the side which drew against Sunderland in midweek and will still be without Bryn Gunnarsson, who strained his groin after slipping during Tuesday's warm-up.