Two home games could shape Jim's future

ONE thing is for sure - Jim Magilton will still be managing a football club in 10 years' time.

Elvin King

ONE thing is for sure - Jim Magilton will still be managing a football club in 10 years' time.

He has what it takes to become a successful boss, along with confidence in his own ability and an effervescent nature that goes hand in hand with being a leader of men.

But whether the hard-working Ulsterman will still be in the hot seat at Portman Road may well depend on Ipswich Town's results over the next five days.

The dropping of four, five or six points at home to Crystal Palace tomorrow (kick-off 5.20pm) and Barnsley on Tuesday will make it difficult for the Blues to hold a promotion challenging position by the end of next month.

The season is about to be shaped for Town and two wins would lift them into the top eight and pave the way for a successful campaign.

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There have been signs over the last few games that Magilton's men are slowly but surely turning the corner following the manager spending club owner Marcus Evans' millions on a clutch of new, experienced players over the last nine months.

This could result in a thorough thrashing for Palace, who have lost all three away matches and are struggling with injuries up front.

A repeat of the first hour against Wigan in the Carling Cup on Wednesday would surely be enough to blow Neil Warnock's Palace away.

But, if it doesn't, there will be added pressure on getting a good result from the Barnsley match.

Magilton has learned much in his 27 months in the job and, once he can add experience to his natural flair, then he would without doubt bring success back to Portman Road - and fulfil Evans' expectations.

Patience may be a virtue but, in the 'win at all costs' football world, it gets cast out of the window.

With the wherewithal that matches and betters the majority of his rivals in the Championship, Magilton will be expected to lead a promotion challenge.

And he will be hoping that the Ipswich season finally gets fully off the ground in front of the live TV cameras tomorrow.

Magilton has the backing of his players, with newly-recruited defender Moritz Volz knowing the importance of the Palace game.

The 25-year-old German said: “If we beat Palace, we'll look upon two away points in our last two league matches as a positive but, if we lose to Palace, those results will seem a lot worse.

“We were solid at the back and defended well at Hillsborough and a clean sheet away from home is never to be scoffed at.

“But it was still disappointing not to capitalise on our possession and come away with all the points.

“All in all, it was a mixed last couple of league games as we didn't lose, but we still feel like we dropped unnecessary points.

“And when you draw games, it's really the next result which determines whether it's viewed as a good or a bad draw.”