Magilton: Joe's decision was fine by me

BLUES skipper Jim Magilton backed his manager's decision to drop him from the side that threw away a two-goal advantage to end up with just a point at Watford.

BLUES skipper Jim Magilton backed his manager's decision to drop him from the side that threw away a two-goal advantage to end up with just a point at Watford, writes Derek Davis.

But Magilton warned Town could not afford to keep dropping points after drawing four of their past five matches, including twice at home.

He said: “We should never have lost the game from there but unfortunately it was set pieces again and we have conceded two sloppy goals.

“That has cost us two much-needed points. We should have shut up shop and we can't really afford to lose too much more ground.

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“If we defend like that at any level we will concede a lot of goals. We have to score more goals than any other team in this league just to win a game of football and that is not right.”

Hornets boss Ray Lewington had said before the game that the Irishman was the Town player he feared most and was delighted to see him not included in the side.

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Lewington said: “Jim is a great player and has the ability to control the tempo of a game. Very few players have that ability and he is one of the few so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw he was not in the team. They do have others who can compensate but I would rather play against Ipswich without him.”

Royle later explained that he had left his 35-year-old captain out to rest him, as he wanted to use him sparingly in future.

After being an ever present all of last season Magilton missed the beginning of this campaign due to injury but since returning against Brentford in August has started every game.

His omission was to accommodate three strikers with Pablo Counago returning to the starting line up along with Shefki Kuqi and Darren Bent.

It was a decision Magilton agreed with and he added: “We have a very good squad here. The manager decided to have a change around and that was fine by me.

“We finished strongly at Leicester with the three up front and it looked perfect for us again against Watford when we went two-nil up.”

In previous games when Town have gone with an attacking trio, Ian Westlake has been the one dropped to the bench but he is finding a rich vein of form and earned praise from his captain.

Magilton said: “Westy had a sluggish start which was to be expected but to be fair the Gaffer has been on at him and the lad has worked hard and it has paid off.

“He chose not to go with England which was a brave decision and it is a feather in his cap that he did that.

“He has shown a lot of energy and two goals in as many games speaks for itself.”

Magilton, who signed from Sheffield Wednesday in March 1999, for an initial fee of £682,500, is now just two games shy of reaching the landmark of 250 appearance.

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