Jim admits he'd love to return to Town

WE MIGHT not have seen the last of Jim Magilton.His revelation in tonight's Evening Star will be no threat to existing manager Joe Royle.Jim is talking about the future, once he has hung up his boots for good and proved he is true management material.

By Mel Henderson

WE MIGHT not have seen the last of Jim Magilton.

His revelation in tonight's Evening Star will be no threat to existing manager Joe Royle.

Jim is talking about the future, once he has hung up his boots for good and proved he is true management material.


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The prospect of Jim returning to fill the Portman Road hotseat is an intriguing one for Town fans.

He is hardly the only ex-Ipswich player who would fancy the job were it to become available, a measure of the esteem in which the club is held by its former employees.

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Magilton said: “If I was fortunate enough to come back here in the future to sit in the manager's chair I would consider myself one very lucky guy.

“This is a fantastic club and if I can prove over the next few years that I have what it takes to be a successful coach or manager I would welcome the chance to return one day.

“But that's in the future and I really haven't a clue what the future holds for Jim Magilton. I will sit down in the summer and reflect. It will be a family decision.”

Magilton, wife Colette and their two sons will be relocating to the North West, but he was quick to add: “I'll consider anything that comes my way. I want to play on for another season so it will be a case of have boots will travel.

“I'm not Alan Shearer. When a job comes up there will be 200 or 300 applicants and most, if not all, will be more experienced than me. They will have done it before.”

Magilton reflected on a number of highlights - his only hat-trick in the dramatic play-off victory over Bolton in May 2000 being an obvious one.

But the former Northern Ireland captain made it clear that had it not earned Ipswich a place in the Wembley final, when they defeated Barnsley to clinch promotion to the Premiership, it would not have meant so much.

He said: “Our first home game of the next season really stands out. The atmosphere was electric that night and we drew with Manchester United.

“They were the best team in the land and we more than held our own against them. It seemed to carry on from there and we finished fifth to qualify for Europe.

“Back then we used to stand in the tunnel, shoulder to shoulder with household names nearly week, and know that we could beat them.”

Such heady days are but a memory now, although Magilton believes there are better times ahead for Town.

He will be leading out a team seeking their first win in nine games tomorrow and he stressed the importance of ending on a high.

He added: “I won't be here but we should be looking to give the fans something that tells them next season is going to be better for them.

“If we do that and I also get a round of applause, great!”

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