McClaren backing for Jim

ENGLAND boss Steve McClaren has backed his former Oxford United team-mate Jim Magilton to follow in his successful steps in management.The Blues boss was a young player under Brian Horton and then Jim Smith at Oxford while McClaren was nearing the end of his playing days and got his own start in management with Oxford's reserves.

By Derek Davis

ENGLAND boss Steve McClaren has backed his former Oxford United team-mate Jim Magilton to follow in his successful steps in management.

The Blues boss was a young player under Brian Horton and then Jim Smith at Oxford while McClaren was nearing the end of his playing days and got his own start in management with Oxford's reserves.

McClaren said: “I remember Jim well. He was a chirpy character in the dressing room and a terrific midfielder.


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“He had great feet that could get out of tight spaces and find a pass. I'm pleased for him that he has gone into management at Ipswich, and I'm sure he will do a tremendous job.”

The England boss has already helped out the Blues in no small way by recommending Boro defender Matt Bates to the club when he was asked about him earlier in the season.

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While Northern Ireland international Magilton left Oxford to join Southampton as a player and then went to Sheffield Wednesday before joining Ipswich, McClaren followed Smith to Derby as his assistant manager and then went to Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson before getting the main job at Middlesbrough and then, of course, taking the England role.

Gavin Williams, Alan Lee and Richard Naylor are all major doubts for Ipswich Town's trip to Crystal Palace tomorrow.

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