Magilton: Blame us, not Royle

DON'T blame the manager, it is down to the players.That is the message from Ipswich Town skipper Jim Magilton in the wake of three disappointing defeats on the bounce.

DON'T blame the manager, it is down to the players.

That is the message from Ipswich Town skipper Jim Magilton in the wake of three disappointing defeats on the bounce, writes Derek Davis.

Blues boss Joe Royle has borne the brunt of the Town supporters' anger and frustration but Magilton insists he and the coaching staff are doing all they can do and the players themselves must take responsibility once the whistle blows.

Magilton said: “The Gaffer has done a fantastic job but his hands have been tied financially. We have had to bring free signings or loan players in and due to the restrictions on the club we have had to let a lot of quality players go.

“But there is not much more he can do before a game. He motivates the players, we are prepared and then we go out there and play poorly.

“The manager has certainly earned his corn, especially at half-time. He has come in so many times and told us some home truths and in the second half we have picked ourselves up.

Most Read

“He has probably never had to be so forceful with a group of players in his career as he has had to be with us this season.”

But Magilton, who took over the captaincy when Matt Holland was sold to Charlton a year ago, is calling on the players to get things right for the whole 90 minutes.

He said: “Players have to take responsibility for their own performances. Once you cross the white line you have to come together. You can't legislate for a 45 minutes when we have conceded shocking goals and then worry because the crowd are getting, rightfully, upset.

“It comes down to us as a group and me personally as a leader. My performances have not been the way I would want them to be.

“I have to lead from the front and take the flak if it is not good enough. People pay to watch their team perform and if it is not good enough then they have the right to be angry.

“The players should not need motivating before a game. Every time they put on that shirt, that should be enough.

“Being part of this football club should mean the world to them, going out and playing in front of this crowd who have stuck with us through some very tough times.

“They are a knowledgeable crowd and they know that we are bursting at the seams because we have a lot of experienced players out. We have to use a lot of young lads who have not experienced this level.

“It has been a tough season but we still have so much to play for and if we can just come together and sort out a few problems we will be okay.”

With Walsall tonight, Watford on Saturday, and Wimbledon the week after Town have a great chance of getting back in among the play-offs and Magilton has certainly not given up hope.

He said: “We are running out of games and we can not allow the season to peter out. But it is a great chance for us. I believe we can beat any side in this division. But if you don't go out there and show aggression and passion then you are going to lose games.

“If we don't sort it out ourselves we will end up mid-table and serious questions will be asked.

“We know we have a fantastic chance but we as a group of players have to realise that these sort of chances don't come along all the time.

“The whole division is full of average teams and if someone could get hold of it by the scruff of the neck then they could walk it.

“We are not worried about anyone else, but we have to take more pride in our performances and at times we have not been good enough against sides we should be taking three points away from.”

Magilton was quick to welcome the addition of 35-year-old defender Matt Elliott who has signed on an initial month's loan from Leicester City.

Elliott is someone that Magilton has played alongside before, when the duo were at Oxford United together in 1993.

Magilton said: “Matty has come at the right time for us. He can get us organised and can bring a bit of composure and calmness at the back.

“The lads that have been there have been giving us everything but things have crept into this football club and we have conceded too many silly goals and that has to stop. So hopefully Matty can put an end to it.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter