Time to end the hoodoo

FACING a team with a new man at the helm is not new for Ipswich and manager Jim Magilton has told his players it is time to end the hoodoo.

By Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

FACING a team with a new man at the helm is not new for Ipswich and manager Jim Magilton has told his players it is time to end the hoodoo.

Defeats by Crystal Palace, West Brom, Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley have all come when those clubs have changed managers.

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Couple that with Luton's precarious position, a desire for revenge after being stuffed 5-0 in October and the Blues' propensity to blow up against lower placed sides, and Magilton's side have enough to keep them on their toes.

He said: “We have not fared too well so it would be nice to redress that. There will be no better time to do that than against Luton.

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“We understand that these situations crop up but it is quite scary the amount of times it has happened to us.

“But it is down to what we do and we know we are capable of beating them. We beat them here at home so we can go away and beat them again and if we play as well as we did at Preston then I can see us getting a positive result.”

While Ipswich are eight points ahead of third from bottom QPR, and two wins away from breaking the 50 point mark which conventional wisdom indicates is the safety point, they will not want to go a third game without a win and be sucked back into the relegation battlers.

Magilton warned: “We can't afford complacency, we have to take the game to them. There is an international break coming up so we won't have another game for a fortnight and you don't want to be going into that on the back of a negative result.

“It has to be all or nothing for us and not leave anything in the tank.”

In a bizarre way it could help Ipswich focus against a Luton side that have lost their past five games.

Magilton said: “Luton will be fired up and are in a position where they have to win games.

“We have to keep the back door shut but we know they have players capable of scoring.

“We also know we can score against them which is good. Footballer do look back and see how they got on against a team and Luton will know how well we played that day.”

Magilton has sympathy for his fellow manager Mike Newel who was dismissed on Thursday after speaking out against the board following their defeat by Hull City.

He said: “I'm surprised at the timing of his dismissal.

“Mike is forthright in his views and that has cost him his job. He has made a lot of comments this season and it would appear this has been the straw to break the chairman and the board's back.

“I do have a certain amount of sympathy for him because no manager wants to lose his best players especially if you are trying to build a team and not replace them.”

Dan Harding and Matt Richards are the main doubts with ankle injuries while 14-goal, leading-scorer Alan Lee is back after a one-match ban and Gavin Williams is set for his first start since the end of January.

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