Jim backs manager

SKIPPER Jim Magilton today backed manager Joe Royle's decision to leave him out of the Ipswich Town starting line-up at Brighton.But the 36-year-old expressed his delight at helping to transform Saturday's Championship match at the Withdean when Town fought back to draw 1-1.

By Elvin King

SKIPPER Jim Magilton today backed manager Joe Royle's decision to leave him out of the Ipswich Town starting line-up at Brighton.

But the 36-year-old expressed his delight at helping to transform Saturday's Championship match at the Withdean when Town fought back to draw 1-1.

Magilton, in his last playing season with the Blues, came on after 31 minutes with Ipswich struggling to find any pattern or rhythm to their play.

They ended playing their best football for some while once Sam Parkin had headed a 39th minute equaliser.

“It has been a stop-start season for me and it was great to make a contribution,” said Magilton, who was left out of the squad completely against Coventry a fortnight ago and has been substituted in six of his 13 starts.

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“It is a big season for me and to be fair to the manager he is always available for a chat.

“Once I cross the white line I always give my very best, and on Saturday the team needed some organisation, which is hopefully what I was able to achieve.

“In the circumstances the manager made the right decision to leave me out, but is was satisfying to be asked to play a part when he felt things needed changing.”

Magilton played in his favoured middle of midfield role, with Dean Bowditch by this time having switched places with the rather out of sorts Adam Proudlock to play on the right side of midfield.

The previous week in the 1-0 home defeat by Watford, Magilton played on the right side of midfield and it was no great surprise when he was substituted in the second half.

On Saturday, Magilton replaced Matt Richards with Dean Hammond having already put Brighton into the lead.

And Magilton's contribution was such that the game was turned on its head with the former Northern Ireland captain saying:

“We dropped two points rather than gained one. In the second half we created enough chances to have won.

“The old problem of starting slowly and not getting a tempo going from the first whistle was evident again.

“There was a certain lack of belief that comes from not winning games and not scoring goals.

“We have three midfield players coming back soon in Ian Westlake, Owen Garvan and Kevin Horlock and there will be competition for places.

“The position the club finds itself in at present is one that we are all in together - chairman, manager, players and fans.

“There is no point in being negative. The only way forward is to be positive and all pull in the same direction.

“Dean McDonald showed his worth to the club when he came on and Sam Parkin and Dean Bowditch were terrific.

“We have an opportunity to move things on a stage further on Wednesday at Derby.”

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