Chairman: Jim's boys have come of age

IPSWICH Town chairman David Sheepshanks is running out of time to bring success that the club's wonderfully faithful fans deserve.And he saw enough in Saturday's 1-0 FA Cup defeat at Premiership Watford to boldly declare: “Jim Magilton's team came of age at Vicarage Road."

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town chairman David Sheepshanks is running out of time to bring success that the club's wonderfully faithful fans deserve.

And he saw enough in Saturday's 1-0 FA Cup defeat at Premiership Watford to boldly declare: “Jim Magilton's team came of age at Vicarage Road.

“Saturday was the turning point.”

And deep down he knows that his judgement needs to be spot on this time.

If promotion doesn't happen before too long in the success-judged world of football, Sheepshanks' position - already under considerable fire from some quarters - could become untenable.

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There can only be so many promises that go unfulfilled before action needs to be taken.

He has skilfully negotiated plenty of choppy waters in his time, and there is no denying his love of Ipswich Town and his desire to do well.

But with this season now gaining the same mediocre stamp as 2005/6 the slump needs to be stopped - and soon.

Sheepshanks put his faith - and possibly his position - on the line in opting for rookie Magilton to put the smiles back on the faces of Blues followers.

And taking positives out of Saturday's unfortunate cup exit, Sheepshanks added: “We were fantastic to a man.

“Even Watford fans said we were the better team.

“I was proud of Jim and his assistant Bryan Klug, the club and our brilliant fans - all 4,636 who made such an impact.

“I am just so sorry we could not deliver the result our supporters deserved.

“Without five regulars we did so well, and I have sympathy with our fans' chant, although I have to be careful how far I go.”

Sheepshanks was referring to the fans' jibe at referee Steve Bennett with their 'You have only got 12 men' chant sung to Watford's subdued supporters.

“I am sure this display will stand us in good stead for the rest of the season,” added Sheepshanks. And he knows he needs to be proved right.

What do you think? Do you agree with David Sheepshanks? Write to Sports Desk, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail starsport@eveningstar.co.uk. Please include your full name and address.

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