Blues players get pampered after win

AFTER three gruelling games in only seven days, Ipswich boss Jim Magilton treated his players to a couple of days away to be pampered.Reporter JOSH WARWICK joined the team as they relaxed at a spa resort following the 6-0 thumping of Bristol City.

AFTER three gruelling games in only seven days, Ipswich boss Jim Magilton treated his players to a couple of days away to be pampered.

Reporter JOSH WARWICK joined the team as they relaxed at a spa resort following the 6-0 thumping of Bristol City.

AS A two-week break from domestic football begins, Ipswich Town have been enjoying a well-earned rest from the game.

Town boss Jim Magilton, delighted after his team destroyed high-flying Bristol City on Saturday, agreed to take his team to a spa complex yesterday and today.

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The squad and coaching staff have been enjoying the hospitality at Whittlebury Hall, situated in the leafy surroundings of rural Northamptonshire.

The acclaimed hotel boasts a top class golf course, extensive spa facilities and plush restaurants, and has provided the perfect base for a little team bonding.

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Magilton's squad arrived yesterday, enjoying drinks and banter at the hotel bar, before heading for a meal at nearby Milton Keynes.

The mood among the camp has been high, not surprising given Town's bright start to the season, which sees them nicely placed to make a serious promotion challenge.

Players were in high spirits last night, with the entire squad taking a rare opportunity to let their hair down.

Despite their physical exertions, the players looked relaxed throughout their stay.

The jovial Alan Lee was in particularly good form, ribbing team mates and the accompanying press pack.

The Irishman was substituted on Saturday as a precautionary measure, after sustaining a knock to his ankle, but he assured me his injury was nothing serious.

HAVING spent the day relaxing, I was sitting in the bar when the players arrived.

First to come and speak to me was Alan Lee, who ushered me over to the rest of the team and insisted on buying me a pint.

Jon Walters, still on a high after bagging a hat-trick the previous day, was also on good form, chatting about the match.

Pablo Counago and Tommy Miller, so effective together on the pitch, are indeed thick as thieves off it.

Despite Saturday's bumper win, Miller and Counago agreed that the comfortable victory hadn't been as satisfying as some this season.

And Miller was philosophical when considering why Town had failed to win on their travels this season.

The midfielder told me he was certain the Blues' luck on the road would change soon.

Danny Haynes, Billy Clarke and Owen Garvan, three of the brightest young players the club has, all enjoyed their time away, as did the older stalwarts. Frenchman Sylvain Legwinski and captain Jason De Vos took the chance to sample some of the hotel's vintage red wine.

As the night wore on, the drinks flowed, although, with Magilton watching on, the players ensured they didn't step out of line.

However, Magilton was the first to get the drinks in, allowing his team some leave from the disciplined regime they have adhered to this campaign.

The players were due to spend today playing golf, with Magilton, Lee and coach Brian Klug likely to be leading the pack.

I was asked to sample the delights of the exclusive hotel to find out exactly what the players would be enjoying.

The hotel is set in beautiful surroundings, the stunning modern building reflecting the elegance of Georgian architecture.

Its 211 bedrooms, each with en suite bathrooms, are spacious and perfect for a mini-break.

As you enter the grand reception, sparkling crystal chandeliers hang down from the ceiling, with luxurious leather sofas inviting you to take the weight from your feet.

From the moment you arrive at the spa, guests are ushered out of their daily routine and into deep relaxation - perfect for easing the aches and pains of three demanding Championship matches.

The main spa has a host of stimulating heat and ice experiences.

There is an opportunity to move through the treatments, which include a caldarium and aromatherapy crystal steam rooms, increasing your body's temperature before braving the ice cave.

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