Town must step up a gear at Preston

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton says his side must step up their performance when they visit promotion hopefuls Preston tomorrow.Town will be without the suspended Alan Lee and injured Francis Jeffers, and with Jonathan Walters a doubt with a tight hamstring, Danny Haynes could play up front on his own.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town manager Jim Magilton says his side must step up their performance when they visit promotion hopefuls Preston tomorrow.

Town will be without the suspended Alan Lee and injured Francis Jeffers, and with Jonathan Walters a doubt with a tight hamstring, Danny Haynes could play up front on his own. Billy Clarke will come into the reckoning for his first start since Leicester at home on February 10.

“We are all down,” said Magilton. “We have got to go to Preston and step up. If we defend like we did against Southend we will get beaten again.”


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The Town boss described the first half showing against the Shrimpers as 'woeful'.

“We were lacking a desire against a hungry Southend team - it was a local derby but I wish someone had told our lads.

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“We were second to every ball whereas Southend gave the impression they would rather have died than lose that game.

“It was a case of after the Lord Mayor's Show for us, having beaten QPR and Hull and then thinking you only have to turn up to beat lowly Southend.

“My players have let me down, the staff down and the supporters down. It was a derby and we didn't put a tackle in.”

Magilton is sure Francis Jeffers' time at the club is over after the on-loan striker picked up a suspected torn hamstring.

“He is here for a month, but is looking at five or six weeks out. So that is the extent of his services for us.”

Southend boss Steve Tilson didn't feel his side were at their best. He said: “We have played better and lost, so it is nice to get a result when we haven't played as well as we have in recent weeks.

“It was a tough game but it was all about getting a result.

“It puts us right back in the mixer with other clubs even though results did not go our way. If we can win five of our remaining games I think we will stay up.

“We have a massive week with Burnley and Leeds at home. Our home games will keep us up this year and they are massive ones. We have got to play four of the teams around us.”

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