Jim: Ban Multi-Ball System
Saturday, 23rd Feb 2008 21:57
Boss Jim Magilton has called for the multi-ball system to be banned in the wake of Town's 1-0 defeat at Stoke City. The Town manager was sent to the stand by referee Mick Jones for complaining about the way the Potters utilised the system throughout the game.
Magilton said: "The ball wasn't coming back in quickly enough as we chased the game. I explained this to the referee in a calm and controlled manner, but he didn't do anything about it.
"I just don't think it's fair and something needs to be done about it. It wouldn't happen at Ipswich because I think we do things properly.
"The multi-ball system is pathetic and definitely is biased towards the home side. I went past Tony Pulis to retrieve the match ball and give it to Alex Bruce and then the ballboy threw another ball on to the pitch.
"The referee came over to explain to me how the multi-ball system works and that was pathetic as well.
"We had a few words and now I'm sure I will be fined again, but it's the multi-ball system that needs banning."
It's not the first time Town have been unhappy with the multi-ball system, former boss Joe Royle making similar comments after the Blues' 2004/05 play-off semi-final at Upton Park.
Magilton was fined earlier in the season after using abusive and/or insulting words towards referee Colin Webster after the Tyne and Wear official disallowed Pablo Couñago's late winner at Burnley.
Of Saturday's game, Magilton felt his side didn't overly threaten Stoke: "We defended very well and we were competitive throughout, but we just didn't have enough quality in the final third.
"We passed the ball well and retained possession at times, but our midfield players weren't as positive as they have been and that was disappointing."
Potters boss Tony Pulis says he is keeping his feet on the ground despite his side being top of the table: "I've been in the game for too long to get too excited yet. This is a tough league and there is still a quarter of the season to go.
"If we treat the last 12 games any differently than we have the first 34, we will end up with our pants pulled down and have our backsides slapped.
"The players are working exceptionally hard and we have got to keep that up until the last ball is kicked. The back four will get a lot of credit for the clean sheet, but the four midfield players in front of them were fantastic.
"Liam's goal was a cracker and fit to grace any game. I was right behind the flight of the ball and as soon as he pulled the trigger I knew it was going in. He's on fire at the moment."
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