Same again, says skipper Jim

THE stunning six-goal win over Burnley earlier this week will be rendered meaningless if Ipswich cannot repeat the maximum points haul against Stoke City this evening, claims skipper Jim Magilton.

THE stunning six-goal win over Burnley earlier this week will be rendered meaningless if Ipswich cannot repeat the maximum points haul against Stoke City this evening, claims skipper Jim Magilton.

The Irishman should make his 200th Town appearance tonight (kick-off 5.35pm) if he recovers from a leg injury picked up in the 6-1 win over the Clarets, although fit-again Tommy Miller is on stand-by to replace him, writes Derek Davis.

Magilton said: "This game is even more important now simply because of the great result we got on Tuesday. It is imperative we get maximum points otherwise that win over Burnley will mean nothing.

"We need to win all our home games because if we have any aspirations about going up, then we have to win all our home matches.


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"It is all coming together but Tuesday has gone and as lovely as it was we are not going to get a result like that every game so it is important that we focus on Stoke.

"It is good to be in front of the cameras and have the chance to show what we can do. It is time to put Ipswich back on the footballing map again."

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Magilton's resurgence of form has coincided with Ipswich's excellent run of six league wins in seven outings which has seen them soar from bottom of Division One to seventh place, exactly where they finished last season.

Magilton said: "It has been a great turnaround and these are much happier times. There is a great buzz about the place and when you are in the middle of a run as we are then the confidence is contagious, just as winning games is.

"A lot of frustrations came out on Tuesday and a lot of combinations came together for us. To get five goals with five efforts on goal as we did is brilliant."

But the 24-year-old knows a repeat of hitting a team for six is very unlikely, especially Tony Pulis' side.

He said: "Stoke City coming here will be aware of our result so they will probably sit back and try and hit us on the counter-attack but it is down to us to first break them down then stop them getting at us.

"They are a physically strong side and will be dangerous from free kicks as a lot of teams in this division are.

"But we are aware of that and they have to take advantage of the pluses in their side.

"The back four as a whole has improved dramatically and Georges Santos and Richard Naylor have been outstanding."

Magilton endorses the view that the signing of the three loan players, especially the two midfielders, has sparked a resurgence.

He said: "The three loan lads have made a huge difference to us. Alan (Mahon) has brought his own personality with him, his banter and personality has lit up the dressing room. Chris (Bart-Williams) is another one who has livened things up and Shefki (Kuqi) is one of the nicest people you can meet."

Although he is from the north, Magilton is delighted to have two fellow Irishmen in the ranks with Dubliners Gerard Nash and Alan Mahon.

He said: "The more Paddies we have in the side the happier I will be and now we have young Gerard Nash making his debut it is brilliant. Gerard came in and did brilliant. He is a thoroughly nice lad and works extremely hard so deserves this and is a welcome addition to the first team."

n Tickets are still available for today's match. They are on general sale in all areas of the stadium and prices start at £20 for adults, £14 for concessions and £6 for Under-16s.

Tickets can be purchased on-line at www.itfc.co.uk or in person at the ticket office or by telephoning 01473 400555.

There are also tickets available for Town's next two away games. Tickets for the fixture at Crystal Palace on Tuesday night are £20 for adults and £12 for concessions and juniors. Tickets for next Saturday's match at Preston North End cost £16 for adults, £11 for over-60s and £8.50 for under-16s.

Tickets for both games are available through the Ipswich Town ticket office on the number above.

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