Jim: We'll finish nearer halfway

IPSWICH Town boss Jim Magilton, who faces the biggest test of his managerial career tomorrow, today said he was convinced that his team would finish nearer halfway than in the bottom three of the Championship.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town boss Jim Magilton, who faces the biggest test of his managerial career tomorrow, today said he was convinced that his team would finish nearer halfway than in the bottom three of the Championship.

His team takes on Queens Park Rangers looking for their first victory in seven games at Portman Road tomorrow afternoon (kick-off 3pm).

Defeat against the Londoners would see their downward spiral continue and add more pressure to the rookie boss.

But despite losing their last five games and going six matches without a goal, Magilton is looking to be positive.

He said: “We need our players to stand up to the occasion and go at the opposition from the start. We need to get a foothold in the game and not play catch-up as we have been doing in recent weeks.

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“I know that we have got to start winning games soon and I am sure that this will come and that we will finish nearer halfway than in the bottom three.

“It is a big game and people will be putting extra pressure on us to get a result.

“But we have belief and we will stand by our principles but it is important that we do gain success against the sides below us.”

Magilton confirmed that he will play two up front against Rangers but he would not confirm that fans' favourite Danny Haynes would be in the starting line up.

Magilton said: “Danny has got a big future at this club but he is still a young lad learning his trade.

“He took a little knock in the friendly reserve game against Colchester this week but he will be in the squad and is always a danger when he comes off the bench.

“I have not formulated my team yet and he will come into the equation when that is done.”

Neither Richard Naylor nor Fabian Wilnis will be in tomorrow's squad although they have trained all week and will be joining in with their team-mates today.

They are both expected to make their comebacks after toe and hamstring injuries respectively in Wednesday's Suffolk Premier Cup game at Ipswich Wanderers.

“It is only fair on them to give them a game before they return to first-team action,” added Magilton.

The manager ruled out Gavin Williams because of his pelvic problem but he said there was a hope the vital midfielder could return at home to Southend next Saturday.

Michael Synnott is returning to Ipswich today from Madeira after suffering an ankle problem playing for the Republic of Ireland youth team in a tournament on the Portuguese-owned island this week.

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