Town limber up for Jim's first season

CHAIRMAN David Sheepshanks and new manager Jim Magilton both outlined their hopes for the new season when Ipswich Town's players reported back for pre-season training yesterday.

By Elvin King

CHAIRMAN David Sheepshanks and new manager Jim Magilton both outlined their hopes for the new season when Ipswich Town's players reported back for pre-season training yesterday.

“The chairman gave a rallying call,” said Magilton. “And I was delighted with his input.

“He cares desperately about the club and this came over in his speech. He was to the point.

“David thanked the previous management, which was correct, and then looked ahead to a new era at Ipswich.

“I then took over, and to be honest I had to be shut up as my passion was coming through.

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“Everybody has been so kind with their good wishes since I took over, and it was great to get started on the training ground.

“The response from the players was terrific and the players have come back hungry and ready for the task in hand.

“They are all onboard.

“I an under no illusions about the hard work that will be required, but this bunch is good enough to make an impression on the Championship.”

Magilton confirmed that Darren Currie's future lies with Ipswich Town despite reports that Leeds United were interested in purchasing the 32-year-old for £250,000.

“I am not surprised Leeds are interested in Darren as he is a very good player,” said Magilton.

“But I have not heard anything, and Darren is very much in my plans.

“If Leeds were to come in with a £2million offer then it might be different, but I don't see Darren leaving this club.”

Magilton revealed that he is not surprised that Ipswich have again been linked with Republic of Ireland international Matt Holland.

“Like Tommy Miller, Matt's name will come up now and again as he is a former Ipswich player,” said Magilton.

“Agents are on the telephone to me all the while, and this is the nature of their business.

“If Matt showed an interest in returning to Portman Road I would sit down and chat to him. At the moment he is working for the BBC at the World Cup.

“I am constantly on the look-out for possible new signings but the player has to be the right sort for Ipswich Town - and one who will improve the squad.”

Alan Lee, Matt Richards and Gavin Williams did not take part in the run around the training ground in untypical first-day wet conditions.

Lee should be fit for consideration for the Lazio game towards the end of next month after undergoing a stomach operation, while Richards should be training next week after picking up an injury last April.

Williams attended his brother's wedding yesterday but will be training today having recovered from his knee problem.

“All the players start with a clean slate,” added Magilton, who had his squad back running again in the afternoon.

IPSWICH Town's visit to neighbours Colchester United has been brought forward a day and will be shown live on Sky Sports.

The derby will now take place at Layer Road on Friday, September 29 with a 7.45pm kick-off.

The Blues haven't been in competitive action at Layer Road since a 0-0 draw in the Third Division South in 1956/57.

FORMER Ipswich Town assistant manager Willie Donachie has joined League Two Millwall in a similar role.

New Millwall manager Nigel Spackman said: “Willie is a fantastic coach, very organised and enthusiastic and the players will enjoy working with him.

“The appointment of my assistant has to be the right choice.

“We will do a lot of work together and consequently I need to trust him. I trust Willie completely and his experience will be invaluable for us.”

Previously Donachie has mainly worked with Joe Royle, being the latter's right hand man at Oldham, Everton, Manchester City and Ipswich.

Royle is still on a break in Majorca after departing Portman Road in May.

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