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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 July 2006, 11:55 GMT 12:55 UK
Magilton feels right at home
By Vicki Hodges

Jim Magilton celebrates with team-mates
Magilton has made the step up from player to manager at Ipswich
Jim Magilton already feels at home behind the manager's desk at Ipswich Town.

After seven years as a player at Portman Road, the 37-year-old was handed his dream job after taking over the reins from ex-boss Joe Royle.

It signals the former Northern Ireland international's first steps into management - and one that will see a shift in the dressing-room dynamics.

Renowned for his colourful personality both on and off the pitch, Magilton

will no longer be the joker in the pack but the man who has the final say on playing matters.

He understands that relations must - and have already - changed since his appointment but is keen to stress that the lines of communication will not be affected.

"I think footballers adapt pretty quickly," the former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder told BBC Sport.

"They do see you differently; I am their boss now and get treated accordingly but they have been very good."

I don't foresee any problems as long as I'm honest and keep the lines of communication open

Jim Magilton

Magilton, who will be the youngest manager in the Championship in the 2006-2007 campaign, revealed that a new ruling has come into force that will also remind the players just who is the boss.

He said: "Our captain Jason De Vos has put in a fining system. The players were given seven days courtesy and then after that they are fined every time they call me by my christian name.

"There is always going to be a change when you make the switch from player to manager.

"I have always had good lines of communication with all the players, though. I was captain here for three-and-a-half years so I know what makes a lot of them tick. I don't foresee any problems as long as I'm honest and keep the lines of communication open."

Magilton is keen to have more experienced people around him to make sure his tenure at Ipswich is long and productive.

He added: "I have never been short of passion and commitment and I know it will be a difficult task but I am not naive enough to think that will see me through alone.

"I have brought in good people like Bryan Klug, who has been academy director and a coach here for 18 years. He knows the club inside out and is very passionate about the club and also Steve Foley, who is another quality coach."

Joe Royle
Magilton has much respect for former Town boss Joe Royle

Magilton says he would even call on former Ipswich boss Royle for further advice.

Royle left Portman Road by mutual consent in May and his time at the helm included two failed promotions via the play-offs and their 15th-placed finish in the Championship last time out.

"Joe's departure came as a massive shock," revealed Magilton. "Joe was a fantastic leader, a great manager, probably the best man manager I have ever had the pleasure of working with, and we had mutual respect for each other.

"Joe rang me on the day of my appointment and I know that if I need advice, which I will along the way, he will be one of the first people I would pick up the phone and ask."

Former Southampton player Magilton is already actively looking to bolster his squad by bringing in trialists in an attempt to banish the memories of last season's below-par showing.

He said: "Finishing 15th stuck in my throat and we have to address that problem and bring a winning mentality back into the mindset.

"From day one that is what we have spoken about. We want them to be winners and want to see players get upset when they lose.

"We want to hit the ground running. If we get off to a good start anything is possible.

"I felt last year we had a squad capable of more, they underachieved and I think if we have a fully fit squad they are capable of pushing for the play-offs - and once you get there anything can happen."

I'm still going to register as a player to turn out for the reserves

Jim Magilton

But one player will not be crossing that white line when Ipswich kick-off their season at home to Crystal Palace on 5 August because Magilton is standing by his decision to retire from first-team duties.

He joked: "I have tried to keep in shape but it has just not happened at the moment.

"I'm hoping for a few solid weeks of foundation before I feel confident about getting in a football kit again but I am still going to register as a player to turn out for the reserves."

For the time being, though, Magilton is content to concentrate on turning around the fortunes of the club he calls home from his new surroundings on the sidelines.

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05 Jun 06 |  Ipswich Town


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