Magilton knows it's a big week
AFTER something of a false start the season begins in earnest for Jim Magilton's Ipswich Town today.The Blues go in search of their first home league win of the new campaign when Steve Coppell's Reading visit and Magilton accepts it will be a real test but one they are ready for.
By Derek Davis
AFTER something of a false start the season begins in earnest for Jim Magilton's Ipswich Town today.
The Blues go in search of their first home league win of the new campaign when Steve Coppell's Reading visit and Magilton accepts it will be a real test but one they are ready for.
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Since losing at Watford, Town have had two weeks to settle in their seven new summer signings including Jon Stead who arrived on loan on deadline day.
Magilton said: “It has been a long fortnight that has given us time to regroup. There are players who missed large chunks of pre-season and this gave them a chance to catch up.
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“We did not get the start we wanted and with that the pressure mounts.
“This is now a big week for us with three games in the week.”
With two away games at Southampton and Sheffield Wednesday coming up next week, the Blues need a win against a Reading side Magilton has a lot of time for.
He said: “Steve Coppell is an outstanding manager and someone I'm immensely looking forward to meeting for the first time for me as a manager.
“His sides have real energy and enthusiasm and I love the way he sets up his teams.”
New boy Jon Stead is likely to make his debut, giving Magilton options.
He said: “Jon has vast experience for a 25-year-old, mostly in the Premiership.
“He has been in many a dressing room which is all the more experience which he can bring to us as well.
“This is a good opportunity for him to see what the future is ahead for him.
“That could give him the buzz he needs when he show that sort of motivation and that ability.”
Magilton regards Stead as something fresh for the Blues approach.
He said: “He may not be regarded as a typical Ipswich player but he suits out needs. He can play on the left and you need all different types at the club.
“When we pick the 16 we look for the right balance and players like Jon give us adaptability.
“We can change things as and when we need and go 4-3-3, 4-5-1 or even 4-4-2. It is also down to the players to be ready to adapt and have the right mentality to do that.”
But another recent signing is a doubt, while Alex Bruce completes the third of his three match ban.
Magilton said: “Ben Thatcher has a dead leg and we will have a look at him. It would need for him to have his leg hanging off for him not to want to play but we have Pim Balkestein or David Wright who can play there if need be.”
Otherwise the back five looks settled with Magilton having plenty of options elsewhere.
Veliche Shumulikoski and Owen Garvan return after successful trips with Macedonia and the Republic of Ireland Under 21s respectively, Magilton has too weigh up if the travelling and extra games will leave them too tired to start, or hope the good form continues.
He said: “I know from personal experience what a come down it can be after playing for your country. We have three games in quick succession so we will bear all that in mind.”
While unlikely to start, David Norris could make the final 16 as he continues to make good progress after a foot injury.
Ipswich Town: R Wright, Supple, Volz, Thatcher, D Wright, Balkestein, Naylor, McAuley, Walters, Haynes, Norris, Garvan, Campo, Shumulikoski, Miller, Quinn, Trotter, Stead, Lisbie, Counago.
Reading: Hahnemann, Federici, Rosenior, Murty, Pearce, Ingimarsson, Duberry, Armstrong, Bikey, Kelly, Convey, Kebe, Karacan, Harper, S Hunt, N Hunt, Long, Doyle.