Jim: I'm so proud of Blues
JIM Magilton today looked ahead and declared: “There is so much more to come from this team.”The Ipswich Town skipper, who has started every First Division match this season, would cap a memorable season if he lifts the play-off trophy at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on May 29.
By Elvin King
JIM Magilton today looked ahead and declared: “There is so much more to come from this team.”
The Ipswich Town skipper, who has started every First Division match this season, would cap a memorable season if he lifts the play-off trophy at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on May 29.
Following Friday's 1-1 draw with Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, the Blues need a win over Cardiff at Portman Road next Sunday to confirm a top six finish.
Magilton, who will be 35 on Thursday, is hugely proud of the way the club has performed this season.
He added: “So many players have been forced to leave Portman Road because of the financial plight the club found itself in, yet we are still in line for a return to the Premiership.
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“It is a great achievement, yet there is so much more to come from this side. There are many big games left in us.
“On our day we are the best side in the division, but we have only shown that in glimpses. We are all in a positive mood about the Cardiff game and although I am not a great believer in the play-off system it will give a fantastic end to the season.
“The manager has remained upbeat and optimistic all the way through and we have all kept going. After the poor start we had it is a great feat by everybody at the club to be in the position we are now.”
Magilton was always confident that Ipswich would hit back after finding themselves a goal down - and virtually out of the play-off race - for nine minutes of Friday's televised clash at Bramall Lane.
“It was a tight game, but I was sure we would hit back,” said Magilton, who took over as captain from Matt Holland last summer.
“We had the right shape, the right formation and the right attitude and Matt Richards and Ian Westlake combined for a wonderful goal.”
Magilton revealed that he would have been the frontrunner to take responsibility if Town had been given a last-minute penalty.
He said: “Darren Bent would have wanted it and perhaps Martijn Reuser, and if they had been really up for it one of them may have ended up taking it.
“I was thinking about it after the match and from an armchair it would have been easy, but the pressure would have been great with only seconds to go.
“It was a blatant penalty and perhaps the referee was looking at his watch. In the first-half incident from Jermaine Wright's shot the referee possibly gave the Sheffield defender the benefit of the doubt, but there was no doubt about the second handball.”
Regular penalty taker Tommy Miller was off the field at the time, and Pablo Counago and Shefki Kuqi, who have both scored from the spot this season, were injured and on the bench respectively.
Magilton's current one-year contract runs out next month, and Town manager Joe Royle has hinted that the former Northern Ireland skipper is in line to be given a one-year extension.
He has certainly led by example since taking over the captaincy.
Magilton has happy memories of Town's last promotion, scoring a hat-trick in the 2000 play-off semi-final home win over Bolton.