Jim aiming to bring in fresh blood
IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton is planning to bring in a couple of new signings by the end of the month.The Blues' boss, who celebrated his 39th birthday yesterday, is away from Portman Road and already has in mind the players he wants.
IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton is planning to bring in a couple of new signings by the end of the month.
The Blues' boss, who celebrated his 39th birthday yesterday, is away from Portman Road and already has in mind the players he wants.
A proven striker is his main aim, while the chase has been on for several weeks to find a replacement for retired central defender and skipper Jason De Vos.
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A couple of players whose contacts are not up could also be on the way out of Portman Road - following De Vos, Fabian Wilnis and Sylvan Legwinski.
With Magilton away, Town chairman David Sheepshanks today confirmed that the plan is to bring in players as soon as possible.
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“Pre-season training will start towards the end of next month and the manager wants to have his newcomers in by then,” said Sheepshanks.
“Hopefully one or two might be signed by the end of this month, although you can never tell how long these things take - as we have found in the past.
“There will be players leaving once their contracts end, while one or two who are not out of contract in the summer could also be on their way.
“It was a tough call by Jason De Vos to call it a day, and I wonder what would have happened if we had gone up.
“But Jim has known the likelihood of Jason going, and the search began for his replacement a couple of months ago.
“We still have significant funds in the bank that Jim will use to bolster his squad, and club owner Marcus Evans will be backing his manager with more cash in the summer to bring in the right players.”
Magilton is expected to make a decision public shortly on the future of players out of contract although it is looking likely that Sito Castro will look elsewhere to continue his career.
Dean Bowditch has rarely featured in the first team for the last couple of years or when he has suffered more than his fair share of injuries and often been out on loan.
And adding to his optimistic comments about next season published in last night's Evening Star, Sheepshanks said: “We are back on the scene again following a massive improvement.
“The years when we were a bottom half side are over and we can use this season's eighth place as a platform.
“We will be going for automatic promotion in 2008/09 and we can realistically say that we will be serious contenders.
“Stoke City, Crystal Palace, Bristol City and Wolverhampton and ourselves are the clubs in the Coca-Cola Championship who are without parachute payments but have substantial financial backing.
“All those clubs finished high in the table, and everybody at Portman Road is confident this trend will continue next season.”
And talking of the offer of a two-year deal on the table for young midfielder Owen Garvan, Sheepshanks said: “We will sit down and chat with Owen and are hopeful he will sign an extension to the contract that runs out next summer.
“Hopefully he is impressed that this club is going forward.”