No end in sight for Jim

JIM Magilton has ruled out hanging up his boots, even if he is clutching a Championship medal at the end of the season.The Blues captain is on course to win his second promotion with Ipswich Town but is in no mood to pack in playing the game he loves.

JIM Magilton has ruled out hanging up his boots, even if he is clutching a Championship medal at the end of the season.

The Blues captain is on course to win his second promotion with Ipswich Town but is in no mood to pack in playing the game he loves.

It is no secret that the affable Irishman would like to move into coaching or managing one day, but he does not see himself in a Tony Mowbray-type situation where he will become player/coach at Town, or anywhere else for that matter.

Magilton said: “Hand on heart, I want to carry on playing, whether it is at the top level I don't know yet.


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“I would prefer to be playing than coaching at the moment.

“That is something I will look at further come the end of the season, if we have won the title then that would be fabulous but, either way, I want to carry on playing as long as possible.”

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Looking weeks younger, with a new fashionable haircut, Magilton is the epitome of the relaxed approach Town are taking to being top of the table.

He said: “We are not feeling any pressure at all. The squad is happy, we have a terrific buzz about us and we are prepared for what is coming, ready to go out there and take things by the scruff of the neck.”

Magilton played a key part in taking Town into the Premiership five years ago and sees a mental toughness in this squad, which he feels will help to automatic promotion rather than having to go the play-off route.

He said: “The team before was possibility a more talented squad but there is more resoluteness and character about this side. Both have tremendous qualities and it was an absolute pleasure to play in both.

“It is unfair to make comparisons. They have different managers, different players to an extent. The two teams have different ways of playing, different formations and so it is wrong to compare.”

After a two-week break, there is a fair chance Magilton will start for the Blues at Sheffield United today and insists the team will go to Bramall Lane without any fear, although he appreciates it will be a tough test.

He said: “We are full of confidence. We have had a lovely break and we have come back refreshed and raring to go.

“We have also added David (Unsworth) and he is someone with tremendous quality and will be a big boost for us.

“Neil Warnock's sides are always competitive but also have a lot of ability. If one or two little things had gone for them that night it would have been a lot closer but we ended up comfortable winners after playing very well.

“If they get Ade Akinbiyi in time then he will be a massive plus for them. He has played against us twice already this season and caused us problems

“Danny Culip is an excellent signing for them and has brought them a resoluteness and stability.

“Alan Quinn is another good player, who I know well from my Sheffield Wednesday days, and Michael Tonge is someone who has always impressed me.

“We are not expecting anything less than a tough game.”

And, in typical Magilton fashion, he dismisses the certain knowledge that, as an ex-Sheffield Wednesday player, he is going to get slaughtered.

“Shefki (Kuqi) got it worse than me last time and I'm sure it will be the same again. We don't mind it, in fact, if anything it gees us up even more.”

If Magilton does start it, could be at the expense of Tommy Miller, Ian Westlake or Kevin Horlock in midfield, as Blues boss Joe Royle looks to surprise counterpart Neil Warnock, who is expected to line-up with a 3-5-2.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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