Magilton defiant despite defeat

DESPITE slipping out of the top ten after going down at bottom club Doncaster Rovers, Blues boss Jim Magilton insists his side are better placed to challenge for promotion than they were last season.

Derek Davis

DESPITE slipping out of the top ten after going down at bottom club Doncaster Rovers, Blues boss Jim Magilton insists his side are better placed to challenge for promotion than they were last season.

It was Town's first defeat in seven games, but Magilton admits constantly dropping points against sides from the lower reaches is not helping the chase for even a play-off place.

He said: “It was disappointing to end our run as we did.

“It is not going to help our cause. But we are better than we were last season, most certainly, so we have to get back on another run.

“We have to keep believing and keep going.

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“I have great faith in the players. There is never a lack of effort from them it is just a lack of quality and a lack of know-how.”

Town had to make do with skipper Gareth McAuley who has a hamstring injury, but Magilton was pleased with Alex Bruce who is set to leave the club over a contract dispute.

Magilton said: “Alex did okay. He never lets us down. But we missed Gareth because he is our captain and he has been playing very well.”

The Town manager also had praise for midfielder David Norris who took stick from the home fans.

He said: “David is a very strong character. He knows for every action there is a consequence and his actions last week dictate that the crowd are going to get on his case.

“He has to deal with that and come out the other side.”

Magilton also denied the team's preparations were affected by the off field activities during the week.

He said: “I'm not going to make that as an excuse. Everyone was fit and ready. They were prepared and focused on their job.

“We have to give Doncaster credit and hold our hands up and say well done to them. As a club we will move on.”

Magilton was unhappy with a number of his players who he felt had under-performed.

He said: “In the past seven or eight games we have been very good but we had four or five below par performances today and as a result we lost the game.

“The quality of our play has improved but today we lacked quality in vital areas.

“We got bullied in the middle of midfield and over-run at times. We have enough experience and quality in there, but unfortunately they were better than us in that department.

“Doncaster are a good footballing side and they deserve credit for digging in. They worked hard to close us down and stopped us playing.”

Once more the goal against came from a set play with skipper Richard Naylor blamed.

Magilton said: “Richard Naylor could have done better for their goal.

“Richard Wright makes a great save to keep us in the game and really we are better than that.

“We seem to save our worst performances for Sky TV, which is unfortunate.

“It is disappointing to end that run we were on, so what we have to do is get on another run.”

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