Irish eyes are smiling on Magilton

IT was a good St Patrick's weekend for Ipswich Town's Irish manager Jim Magilton.A 2-0 victory over Luton Town ended worries about relegation, he had his name chanted regularly by overjoyed Town fans at Kenilworth Road - and the respect he commands among his youthful squad was confirmed.

By Elvin King

IT was a good St Patrick's weekend for Ipswich Town's Irish manager Jim Magilton.

A 2-0 victory over Luton Town ended worries about relegation, he had his name chanted regularly by overjoyed Town fans at Kenilworth Road - and the respect he commands among his youthful squad was confirmed.

They lined up to praise the ex-Blues player, who took over from Joe Royle last summer and has not enjoyed a particularly happy baptism with more defeats than wins.

Skipper Jason De Vos is in no doubt about the ability of Magilton. The Canadian said: “The gaffer was a winner as a player and he will be a winner as a manager.

“The mental strength we now have in the team comes from Jim. We can enjoy a two-week break now without having lingering fears in the backs of our minds.”

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Striker Jonathan Walters, who flicked the ball on for Matt Richards to score Town's second goal, said: “Without a shadow of doubt the gaffer is going to be an exceptional manager.

“He has helped me settle in and I feel I am already a better player. Results have not been as good as he would have liked, but he gives everything to the job and his rewards will come.”

Speaking of Richards' goal, Walters said: “I seemed to hang in the air for ages and thought the ball was never going to reach me. When Fabian's fabulous cross reached me I managed to flick it on.”

Richards, who goes in and out of the team, also has no doubts about Magilton.

He said: “Saturday's win was for the manager. He rightly criticised the display against Southend, but he backed us after the good performance at Preston in midweek.

“We know we should be higher in the table and are not in a good position.

“He deserves better and he is a good manager who we all want to do well.

“There is a great team spirit in the squad and we are all pulling together.”

Richards passed a late fitness test after suffering a right ankle injury at Preston, while Dan Harding missed the match after his partner gave birth to a daughter.

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