Struggling without a spare striker

JIM Magilton, his hands tied by strict financial constraints, must have looked on with a certain amount of envy as £3.25million striker Nathan Ellington sat on the Watford substitutes' bench.

By Elvin King

JIM Magilton, his hands tied by strict financial constraints, must have looked on with a certain amount of envy as £3.25million striker Nathan Ellington sat on the Watford substitutes' bench.

While Darius Henderson was spurred on to claim the all-important opening goal, Ellington's presence after his midweek move from Wigan caused Ipswich Town manager Magilton to say: “We don't have that luxury, and we have just got to get on with it.”

Moves to “write-down” Town's £32m debt are taking place behind the scenes to pave the way for an investor to come in and give Magilton a level playing field against former Premier League clubs like Watford.


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The sooner this happens the better.

Magilton sees the Hornets being a force this season in the Coca-Cola Championship, and added: “I expect Watford to be up there at the end of the season, challenging for a promotion place.

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“This gives us an insight into what we have to do to compete with these teams.

“We have another tough away game coming up after the break, at West Brom, and that will give us further indication of what we have to do to make an impact in this division.

“When you concede goals they're always avoidable, but they were goals that were poor defensively.

“We just can't think we are going to turn up and switch it on.

“One, we haven't got the players to be able to do that and secondly, Watford are a good side and are going to be there or thereabouts.

“To be fair to the lads they came out second half and had a real go and probably the goal was against the run of play, albeit another great finish.

“We kept going and it gives us a real insight into a real contender this year so we know we're going to have to improve.”

Former Watford chairman Sir Elton John was in the home dressing room before the start on a rare visit to Vicarage Road, with Hornets manager Aidy Boothroyd saying: “I think I'm blessed now.

“I've got a group of five strikers all pushing for a starting place and nobody can be complacent.

“Everybody's going to get pushed. Darius [Henderson] has proved that he can get goals and Marlon [King] has obviously proved that he can do that and now Nathan [Ellington] comes in and he's on for 15 minutes and hit the post and caused havoc.

“The reason I didn't start him was I thought Darius would perhaps soften them up a bit, and also because when a player moves there's an awful lot goes on.

“It was important we got a clean sheet, first and foremost, after last week's kick up the backside.

“It's nice to get goals from all over the pitch and if our wide men like Tommy Smith chip in it will certainly help us.”

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