Jim: I'm not hanging boots up yet

IPSWICH skipper Jim Magilton went into today's play-off clash with West Ham praying it would not signal his Portman Road farewell.Depending on what happens over two games against the Hammers, and whether or not Town make it back to the Premiership, he could be on his way elsewhere.

IPSWICH skipper Jim Magilton went into today's play-off clash with West Ham praying it would not signal his Portman Road farewell.

Depending on what happens over two games against the Hammers, and whether or not Town make it back to the Premiership, he could be on his way elsewhere.

The 35-year-old midfielder is one of several senior stars whose contracts are up in the next few weeks.

Fabian Wilnis, John McGreal, Richard Naylor, Chris Makin and Jermaine Wright are all in the same boat, their immediate futures uncertain.


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Only when Ipswich learn where they will be playing next term will manager Joe Royle identify the players he wishes to keep on board and commence contract talks with them.

But Magilton is adamant: “I have no plans to hang up my boots just yet. I feel as fit as I have ever done, I want to continue playing and hopefully it will be at Ipswich.

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“I am confident I can do a job for a while more, whether that be here or somewhere else, but I would love the opportunity to stay at Portman Road.

“Ipswich is a wonderful club with a fantastic set of supporters and I have spent the happiest time of my career here in Suffolk.

“There have been ups and downs in the five or so years I have been here, but more ups than downs and it's been a real honour to pull on the blue shirt.”

Today's game marked Magilton's 235th appearance for Ipswich after he joined on loan from Sheffield Wednesday in January 1999 and completed a £682,500 switch two months later.

Meanwhile, Magilton reflected on his angry reaction to being substituted just 57 minutes into last weekend's 1-1 home draw with Cardiff - and admitted his actions left his wife red-faced.

He said: “She was in the stands on Sunday and she was cringing with embarrassment. I don't blame her. It was a momentary bout of madness.”

Magilton tossed the captain's armband in the air and headed straight for the dressing room after being replaced by Martijn Reuser.

Almost a week on, he added: “I was waiting for my face to appear on Crimewatch, there was so much flak flying around. I deserved all the stick as well, because I was bang out of order.”

Magilton praised boss Royle for not making a big thing of it at the time. The gaffer has saved me really,” he went on.

“He let me stew over my antics for a couple of days and knew I would come back grovelling when I had got it out of my system - and he was right.

“I doubt if I would have been so calm if I was a manager and one of my players acted in the way I did.

“I would have chased him all the way down the touchline, kicking his backside.”

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