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The Jim Magilton Interview - Part Two
Saturday, 4th Apr 2020 09:40

Part two of our Jim Magilton interview sees the Blues back in the Premier League having beaten Barnsley at Wembley and about to shock the top flight, relegated and then challenging for a return under Joe Royle.

Despite having played more than 100 times in the Premier League for Southampton and Sheffield Wednesday, Magilton says he hadn’t expected Town to make quite the mark they did in 2000/01.

“No, I didn’t anticipate that, I didn’t expect it, but what I did know was that we had quality players that were going to be underestimated and I knew that technically we were going to be able to handle it,” he said.

“Technically we were going to be competitive, it was whether or not we were going to be strong enough defensively. It was whether or not we were going to be organised without the ball in certain areas in certain situations.

“And that’s probably where our experience, my experience came into play too. I certainly felt that, one, we were going to be underestimated and, two, we had great athleticism in the team, and physically we were going to be able to compete in terms of mileage.

“I never any problem with the distances or the athletic ability within the group, I always felt confident we could deal with that.

“Defensively, could we be strong enough against top class players, world class players to give us a chance?

“But, do you know what? We imposed our play, our system on the opposition. We controlled the ball, which was fantastic. We had time and we showed tremendous energy throughout the games, tremendous energy.

“Our energy to get the ball back equalled our energy with the ball, which was great. And I think we surprised the living daylights out of teams.”

As a former Liverpool trainee was the 1-0 victory at Anfield the highlight? “That was fabulous but I think the whole season. That was a highlight, no question, again Stewy [Marcus Stewart] and that killer instinct he had was just incredible.

“But just watching the team grow, watching them come with no fear. Go to stadiums that they’d all dreamt of playing in and having no fear.

“And watching as we controlled the ball was everything I’d dreamed of, everything I wanted to be a part of. That was the highlight. Our system dominating Premier League teams was just a massive highlight for me.”

Going into the final day the Blues even had a chance of making the Champions League depending on their result at Derby and how Liverpool and Leeds got on in their last fixtures.

“Qualifying for Europe was incredible,” Magilton continued. “Boy’s own stuff, one of those stories. The moment I signed I was on this incredible ride, a rollercoaster, but with more highs than lows.

Photo: Action Images

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