The Jason De Vos column

IT will be the end of an era tomorrow when Jim Magilton plays his last game as an Ipswich Town player at Portman Road.The skipper has been an inspirational figure here for seven years and I'm sure the Ipswich supporters will give him a fantastic send-off.

IT will be the end of an era tomorrow when Jim Magilton plays his last game as an Ipswich Town player at Portman Road.

The skipper has been an inspirational figure here for seven years and I'm sure the Ipswich supporters will give him a fantastic send-off.

As a player and a person I have the highest respect for Jim and recently, when I was asked to pick the best XI of players I have played alongside, Jim's name was one of the first on the list.

I knew of him when I was playing in Scotland and I was keeping a close eye on the English game and I can remember him winning promotion with Town.

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Now, having played alongside him, I have an even deeper respect for him.

I just wish that I could have played with him when he was in the prime of his career, in his mid to late 20s

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Even now, at the end of his career, he does things with a ball that no one else can.

For example, he played a pass to Matt Richards at Crystal Palace that no one else would have seen, never mind played, and we scored from it.

As a person he is the life and soul of the place, although he can be a right miserable git when he is not playing.

The thing with Jim is he is a winner and absolutely hates losing, never mind not playing.

He is totally determined and dedicated, first into training, last to leave, and he knows everyone.

He goes to reserve games and knows the young players coming through and always has a word for them.

Everyone rightly raves about the young players but they can learn from the example of senior players like Jim.

Even with all the ability these lads have, they have far more chance of being successful with his mentality.

Not just his determination but Jim's straightforwardness. Although he is loud, with a great sense of humour, you know exactly where you stand with him.

He is not afraid to pull punches and calls it as he sees it. Jim points fingers and raises levels of expectation and that is not a bad thing.

He will also be the first to criticise himself and has the ability to get the best out of everyone else.

I know the Ipswich fans will pay tribute to him tomorrow and give him the send-off he deserves.

He has been phenomenal over seven years and I would be very surprised if he didn't get a standing ovation.

NO big surprise then that Neil Warnock attracted all the headlines for the wrong reasons on Tuesday night, even though his team Sheffield United were already promoted.

Warnock got into a row with the referee and Leeds manager Kevin Blackwell, and eventually a policeman had to escort him to the stands.

I'm not sure if the Premiership will have to adjust to him or vice versa.

He has never managed at that level so it will be interesting to see how he gets on.

I suppose he is good value for supporters as he is one of those figures in football you love or hate - like Robbie Savage.

Everyone wants to play at the highest level, or manage there, and no doubt Warnock will have looked at how Championship sides Wigan and West Ham have done after going up and hope he can do the same, rather than a Sunderland.

Everyone knows it is a massive step up but managers like Paul Jewell and Alan Pardew have showed it can be done.

SOME people are saying that the Champions' League is all but won now, after Barcelona beat AC Milan in the first leg of the semi-finals.

For many people this game was the final but really they should know better.

There would not have been many Liverpool fans who would have thought they were going to win the Champions' League last year, especially when they were 3-0 down at half-time.

I'm sure Barca will beat Milan, unless they have a really bad day at the office, because they have all the ability and the players to go on and win.

It will be interesting to see how Milan go about the second leg. The Italians are notoriously defensive but, being a goal down, they can't be as they have to go to Spain and score two.

I would love for Arsenal to get through, although I'm not sure if it is true that to hold on to Thierry Henry they need to win the Champions' League.

Only Barca would probably be able to tempt him away, and the form of the young players may have encouraged him, and Henry may see that Arsenal could challenge.

MY hopes of winning our Fantasy League are waning fast. I thought I had a good weekend but instead I have dropped from second to fourth.

I can see it going down to the wire and Jim can go out in style but he needs to get busy in the transfer market.

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