Magilton hopes criticism will left team

THE omens weren't good for Town after a flat tyre before they had even left Portman Road meant their coach journey to Preston yesterday morning was delayed by more than half-an-hour.

By Derek Davis

THE omens weren't good for Town after a flat tyre before they had even left Portman Road meant their coach journey to Preston yesterday morning was delayed by more than half-an-hour.

Their season has already been punctured by inconsistency and the Blues fans and manager were left deflated on Saturday after slumping to struggling Southend.

Now manager Jim Magilton is hoping his players have been stung by the criticism dished out in the wake of that loss, and their own sense of hurt pride, to put on a show at Deepdale tonight that will lift everyone.


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Magilton said: “I hope the players are as angry about Saturday as I am. Pride has been bruised and I expect them to stand up and be counted at Preston.

“Sometimes the players have to take responsibility and they need to lift me, the staff and the supporters who they let down on Saturday.

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“Everyone will be expecting a top performance from them so I hope they produce.”

Magilton is also hoping the players will take on board the brickbats and learn from the experience.

He said: “A footballer has to be self-critical in order to improve. First and foremost as an individual, then as a team you must look to get better.

“We need to learn quicker because this is a results business and if you are losing games then that erodes confidence.

“This will be a big test for us but if we give goals away against Preston as cheaply as we did on Saturday then we will be in trouble.”

After the false start in Suffolk, the Blues were put through their paces at Bolton Wanderers' training ground yesterday in readiness for tonight's game.

Gavin Williams and Fabian Wilnis are in the squad but will probably have to settle for a place on the bench, while hamstrung Jon Walters will be assessed today. Danny Haynes is expected to start.

Magilton said: “We won't take a chance on Jon if there is any reaction during the day, which will give the other lads a chance.

“Danny has done well for us. His attitude in training, his dedication has been first class. He has matured into a very exciting player.

“He has been working with Steve Foley on different aspects of his game and I'm delighted with the way he has improved.”

Magilton is a former team-mate of Paul Simpson at Oxford United and is hoping Preston can eventually claim a play-off spot - but not until after tonight.

Lewis Price has been left out of the Wales squad to face Ireland at Croke Park and San Marino in the European Championship qualifiers. He missed the last game with a thigh injury.

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