Middle men get Leg-up

BOSS Jim Magilton claims the Ipswich midfield is at least the equal of any in the Championship.And the senior member of the current quartet, Sylvain Legwinski, has been quick to echo his manager's sentiments.

By Mel Henderson

BOSS Jim Magilton claims the Ipswich midfield is at least the equal of any in the Championship.

And the senior member of the current quartet, Sylvain Legwinski, has been quick to echo his manager's sentiments.

Legwinski, 33, is partnered in the middle of the park by 18-year-old Owen Garvan, with wide men Gavin Williams and loan star Gary Roberts regularly switching flanks to excellent effect.


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But the French ace added: “Although we generally dominate in that area, we have not always had the results that we have deserved.

“The inexperience of the team is the main reason, because there are a lot of players who are still learning. I was the same when I first played for Monaco.

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“It is up to people like myself and Jason (De Vos) to help them. We do a lot of talking in games, encouraging our team-mates.

“In my case I have Owen alongside me and we have had three games together now. He has great ability and desire and we are developing an understanding.

“When you play in midfield it is important to know where your partner is if you are going to win the battles in there and I don't think we have come across an opposition team with a better midfield than we have at the moment.”

But the former Fulham star is only too aware that Ipswich must improve considerably, in terms of points gained, during the second half of the season.

He said: “The players have been talking together and we know that if we are going to achieve anything this season this is the time to start picking up more points.

“There is no more time to waste. The Christmas period is critical for a number of clubs, including Ipswich.

“Depending how well we do in the next few games, we will either have a boring second half of the season in mid-table or we could be in with a chance of grabbing something when it finishes in May.

“It is all very well saying we deserve better but we must now go out and win games if we are going to climb the table.”

Legwinski, who joined Fulham in a £3.3 million move from Bordeaux in August 2001, is preparing for his sixth Christmas in England.

He said: “In France they have a break of between 15 and 20 days but the tradition is different in this country and I am used to it now.

“It is very busy for the players but the supporters enjoy it, especially if we get the right results.”

Legwinski's wife and two sons have moved from their London home to spend Christmas in Suffolk, while his parents have travelled over from France to join in the celebrations.

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