Jim judged on season, not Norwich win

JIM Magilton has been under increasing pressure since Marcus Evans took over Ipswich Town.

Elvin King

JIM Magilton has been under increasing pressure since Marcus Evans took over Ipswich Town.

When millionaire Evans handed over �12million to get the Blues into the Premier League there were no ifs and buts.

From that moment Magilton knew he had a job on his hands.

He knew he would be scrutinised by the man holding the purse strings at Portman Road and the man not used to failure.

It is ironic that the decision should be made public three days after possibly the best result - for most Town fans - and one of the best performances of the season.

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Losing to Norwich City on Sunday would have been enough to put Magilton out of work said many.

To beat the Canaries would give him a better chance of leading the Blues next season - when the pressure and stress would have been even greater on the former Northern Ireland international who was a huge favourite with Town fans when a player.

But Evans is known to be astute. He is said by those who have met him to have the knack of making the right decisions based on considered thought and business acumen.

He would not have allowed one result - Norwich say - to influence his decision to part with Magilton.

Evans' decision has been made on the last 44 league games - on how Magilton has fared since this campaign began.

There were some low times with both defeats against Doncaster springing to mind and the awful home display against Southampton.

The players to be honest did not look that interested against Doncaster, and if the decision had perhaps not been made by then it could have had a bearing.

The following game at Bristol City showed the work and the relationship Magilton had with his players in a much better light.

And against the Canaries, a rare team huddle took place before kick-off with senior player Ben Thatcher leading a crusade to 'win three points for the manager'.

Publically they all backed the manager, but the failure of many of Magilton's signings since he was given cash to spend has obviously not gone unnoticed, and been seen as a lack of managerial talent by Evans.

Simon Clegg, revealed yesterday as Evans' right hand man, spokesperson and the club's chief executive, has no doubt been working in 'Evans towers' in London over the last few weeks working out Town's future.

He has moved in and Magilton has moved out, and a new era begins for Ipswich Town, and its fans.

Magilton may have got Town promoted next season, but there was no great cause for optimism.

His successor could well be a foreigner recruited from a league abroad with work having already gone on into providing a replacement for Magilton.

Most Town fans will now forward to 2009/10 with more hope, season ticket sales could receive a boost, and another man given a chance to lead a club that has enjoyed such successful managers in the past as Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson.

Magilton took over in June 2006 and steered the club to 14th in the table and then eighth last season, but following further investment in the squad this season, the Blues will finish outside the play-off places.

Evans explained the decision by saying: “Today is a sad day for me. I have enjoyed working with Jim over the past 15 months and no one has worked harder to bring success to Ipswich Town in that time.

“Jim has a passion for the club but unfortunately we have not made the progress both he and I expected this season.

“I would like to put on record my thanks for his commitment to this football club and wish him every success for the future.”

John Gorman, who joined as assistant manager in December, on a short-term contract, has also left the club.

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