Magilton: Enjoy yourselves and take us up

GO out, enjoy your football and seize the chance to win promotion.That, in a nutshell, is Jim Magilton's message to his players as the countdown to a glorious season's finale continues.

Derek Davis

GO out, enjoy your football and seize the chance to win promotion.

That, in a nutshell, is Jim Magilton's message to his players as the countdown to a glorious season's finale continues.

With 11 games to go the Blues boss dismisses the notion that his side is under pressure because he sees the run-in, and the possibility of the play-offs at the very least, as something to be taken advantage of.

By playing their brand of football, at the tempo they want, and imposing their game on the opposition, Magilton sees his side as good enough to achieve the dream.

Magilton said: “I don't see this as pressure.

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“We have had pressure since day one. Now this is enjoyment and that should be an inspiration.

“We have an unbelievable opportunity to turn this into a fantastic season.

“Every day is geared for them to go out and enjoy themselves for 90 minutes. So rather than be an intimidating time, it should be an inspiration.”

Town have shown they can take teams apart, especially at home, but Magilton has warned that any slip in the standards they set for themselves day by day, could turn round and bite them.

He said: “We need to impose ourselves in the way we did not do at Southampton

“With 11 games to go you have to smell the hunger and I didn't at Southampton. There has to be desperation in our play and that, backed by quality, will get you results, but we lacked both.

“We need everyone now to be leaders. Opportunities like this don't come around very often and if we grasp the nettle then that opportunity is ours.”

Magilton is also urging the Blues crowd to make their presence felt against the 'Norwich of the north'.

He said: “Sheffield United, on a Tuesday night, at home, means our crowd can play a massive part. They need to be like our away support which once again was magnificent at Southampton.

“The players need to get the crowd going which in turn will give them a lift.”

But he is not taking the Blades for granted with Kevin Blackwell recently taking charge and looking to raise their game after defeat by Charlton on Saturday and being knocked out of the FA Cup by Middlesbrough.

Magilton said: “Sheffield have a squad capable of beating anyone in this division. If they rise to the occasion they are as tough a team to beat as anyone.

“They have probably underachieved and have a new manager and are a formidable outfit.”

Blues midfielder Gavin Williams has been recalled to the Blues squad with a number of players getting over injuries.

Town winger Alan Quinn is today fighting to be fit for the game against his old club, although his brother Stephen has been banned after being sent off in the Blades' defeat by Charlton on Saturday.

Jon Walters is struggling with a painful knee, while Pablo Counago is hoping to recover from a dead leg.

Richard Naylor, Velice Sumulikoski and David Norris, have all had treatment this week but should be fine.

Naylor is tonight expected to make his 300th league appearance for the Blues, the 16th highest in the all-time list of Town stars playing league games.

Tonight's squads

Ipswich Town: Bywater, Colgan, Wright, Harding, Sito, Bruce, De Vos, Naylor, Casement, Trotter, Sumulikoski, Garvan, Miller, Williams, Norris, Haynes, Quinn, Walters, Counago and Lee.

Sheffield United: Kenny, Carney, Ehiogu, Morgan, Kilgallon, Armstrong, Geary, Cotterill, Gillespie, Speed, Tonge, Beattie, Hulse, Sharp, Stead, Shelton and Naysmith.

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