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Page last updated at 15:28 GMT, Wednesday, 22 April 2009 16:28 UK

Magilton sacked as Ipswich boss


Ipswich 'closing in' on new manager

Ipswich Town have sacked manager Jim Magilton after falling short of a Championship play-off place.

The former Town and Northern Ireland midfielder, 39, was in charge at Portman Road for nearly three years but his highest finish was eighth.

Assistant boss John Gorman has also left the Suffolk outfit.

Ipswich chief executive Simon Clegg confirmed coach Bryan Klug would take charge of the first team for Saturday's game at Cardiff City.

But Clegg, who was appointed by owner Marcus Evans this week and is the former chief executive of the British Olympic Association, refused to rule out a quick decision over a permanent replacement.

He told BBC Radio Suffolk: "If we don't have a new manager in place, and I'm not ruling anything in or ruling anything out, I've asked Bryan Klug to step up to the plate."

Jim Magilton
Magilton was a popular figure as a player at Portman Road

Clegg says he has also spoken to senior players saying it is "business as usual" for the remaining two games of the season.

The chief executive explained the board felt Magilton had failed to deliver this season despite significant funding from Evans.

Clegg said: "We've not achieved the aspirations we've had as a result of that investment and while everyone inside the club takes a degree of collective responsibility, ultimately the responsibility rests on the shoulders of the manager."

Ipswich are looking for "a winner" as Magilton's replacement, according to Clegg, "someone who can take this club to where we aspire it to be, that is the Premiership".

"Discussions are being had at this moment in time, we are closing and we are looking to make a decision and an announcement as soon as possible."

Magilton became manager in 2006 following the departure of Joe Royle.

He took Ipswich to 14th in the Championship table in his first season and eighth last term but departs with the club in ninth place and 12 points off the play-off zone.

BBC Sport's Paul Fletcher

Evans told the club website: "Jim has a passion for the club but unfortunately we have not made the progress he and I expected."

Magilton's exit comes a day after the unveiling of Clegg.

Ipswich beat East Anglian rivals Norwich 3-2 on Sunday but when asked about Magilton's future by BBC Radio Suffolk on Tuesday, Clegg left plenty of room for interpretation.

"I am not going to fuel any speculation about Jim one way or another," he said.

"Marcus Evans and I have had extensive discussions on the immediate strategic issues for this club and we will communicate those to the media at an appropriate time."

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see also
Magilton 'a fantastic servant'
22 Apr 09 |  England
Magilton keen on top-flight links
23 Mar 09 |  Ipswich
Magilton hits back at criticism
27 Feb 09 |  Ipswich
Ipswich owner backs boss Magilton
18 Feb 09 |  Ipswich
Magilton slams 'negative' press
19 Dec 08 |  Ipswich
De Vos fears losing boss Magilton
03 May 07 |  Ipswich

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