Jim throws down the gauntlet to players

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton today threw down the gauntlet to his players ahead of Saturday's FA Cup tie at Watford.Ipswich face their biggest game of the season when they visit the Premiership strugglers in Saturday's fifth round at Vicarage Road.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton today threw down the gauntlet to his players ahead of Saturday's FA Cup tie at Watford.

Ipswich face their biggest game of the season when they visit the Premiership strugglers in Saturday's fifth round at Vicarage Road.

And Magilton today had a clear a message to his players: “Show me who wants to still be here next season.”

Magilton, who took over the reins of the Championship club last summer, is still working on the squad he wants for a push towards the Premiership in 2007/08.

And he sees the high profile match at Vicarage Road as not only one that could keep the Ipswich season alive but also provide an ideal test for his players.

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“It will be guide to where we stand,” said Magilton.

“With a number of players suspended or injured we will have others coming in, and it will give me an indication of who wants to be here next season.

“There have been times when we have not quite shown enough, and one or two may have lost a little belief. I am not going to have that.”

Alan Lee and Owen Garvan are suspended, Jonathan Walters cup-tied, Gavin Williams injured and Jason De Vos and Richard Naylor struggling with injuries.

There is a slim chance that De Vos may be back after suffering a cracked bone in his foot on January 15, and Magilton admits that he would like to see his skipper back in action.

“We had six players under 21 against Leicester last Saturday, and with respect to the youngsters we need some men on the pitch,” said Magilton.

“This takes some of the pressure off young players learning the game.

“Jason has been brilliant in the dressing room and around the place while he has been out.

“He has been trying to lift the players and it will be a bonus when we do have him back.”

Darren Currie will remain in the squad for Saturday's game with Ipswich receiving no loan enquiries for the 32-year-old midfielder this week.

“We would not have considered letting him go before the Watford game anyway,” confirmed Magilton.

“We need more quality in the final third and Darren provides that.

“He is very controlled in his possession and rarely gives the ball away.

“He will be involved on Saturday and after that we will see.”

IPSWICH Town's Pontin's Holidays Combination fixture at Layer Road, Colchester has been brought forward a day to Tuesday, March 20 with a 2pm start.

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