Steaming Jim demands improvement

THE steam was firing out of Jim Magilton's ears immediately after Ipswich's 2-0 defeat at Sunderland last Sunday.A few days later the Blues skipper had calmed down, but the anger at the manner of the loss was still evident, and Brighton can expect a backlash at Portman Road today.

THE steam was firing out of Jim Magilton's ears immediately after Ipswich's 2-0 defeat at Sunderland last Sunday.

A few days later the Blues skipper had calmed down, but the anger at the manner of the loss was still evident, and Brighton can expect a backlash at Portman Road today.

Training this week has comprised of straight-talking, hard work and a determination to ensure they don't stumble at home against the lowly, but dangerous, Seagulls.

Magilton said: “Sunday is still pretty raw for everyone, simply because we were on such a good run. It's not the fact we lost the game, it is how we lost the game that was important.


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“We did not perform, which was extremely disappointing. We had the chance to go top, with this home game coming up, which would have seen us go into the game all the more confident.

“This week has been about getting that out the system, both personally and collectively as a team.

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“We have been critical with each other - up to a point. We need to realise we had been on such a good run and now we must focus on the positives. Our home record is very good.”

All six of Albion's victories this season have been by 1-0, four of them away, including West Ham, Sheffield United, Leicester and Nottingham Forest.

They may be 18 places lower than Town but Magilton is not expecting an easy game by any means, especially with the opposing skipper back from suspension.

He said: “I know Danny Cullip from my Oxford days. He organises them, keeps them solid and, to me, is a very under-rated defender.

“They have a goalscoring threat with Leon Knight and Steve Claridge. Steve has a lot of experience and will ensure they are not overawed.

“Brighton have a very good away record and we respect that. We know how difficult it is to win at Upton Park, for example, and they did that.

“That tells us they have something about them and, unless we are 100% on our game, we will fall short.

“We have an impressive home record, which we would like to protect.”

Ipswich are unbeaten at home this season and have not failed to score at Portman Road since Norwich were the visitors 11 months ago.

Magilton said: “It is good to be back in front of our own fans and we need to put on a good performance and get last Sunday's game out of the system.

“We are looking for a reaction. First and foremost we need the three points. We have to make sure we keep our home record intact.”

Tommy Miller and Dean Bowditch have been back in full training, with the midfielder expected to resume his place after missing out at Sunderland with an elbow injury.

Bowditch, who injured an ankle in that game, will have to settle for a place on the bench.

Sixteen-year-old Darryl Knights made his debut in the defeat at Sunderland as a late substitute.

Another of Town's Academy kids, 16-year-old Republic of Ireland Under-17 midfielder Owen Garvan, comes in to the initial 18-strong squad and he has been given the squad No. 23.

The left-footed playmaker, capped at Under-16 and Under-15 level for the Republic, has impressed for Town Under-18s this season.

Joe Royle will select his 16 for the Brighton game after training.

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