Magilton has done a great job - Crook

Chris Lakey Ian Crook says East Anglian rival Jim Magilton has been caught up in the short-term culture that is English football management. The Ipswich manager is under increasing pressure at Portman Road as his Tractor Boys fail to produce the pre-season promise that came with Marcus Evans' millions.

Chris Lakey

Ian Crook says East Anglian rival Jim Magilton has been caught up in the short-term culture that is English football management.

The Ipswich manager is under increasing pressure at Portman Road as his Tractor Boys fail to produce the pre-season promise that came with Marcus Evans' millions.

But Crook believes Magilton is simply a victim of the increasing pressure-cooker that is professional football. "In today's there is so much expectancy for results straight away that people are under pressure," he said. "I think Jim Magilton has done a great job there and certainly for me I don't think he deserves to be under the pressure he is.


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"But we are all realistic and we know that's the way the game is, it's changed. If Alex Ferguson had produced the kind of results now that he did early on he'd be out of a job. Full credit to Manchester United, they were persistent with him and had a long-term plan and it was proved it was the right thing.

"We all want longevity in a job, but we know it is just a fickle game and things can change overnight, but you don't get any stability changing from time to time. How many managers have Norwich had in the last three or four years? Bryan Gunn is the fourth and it's a lot of managers to go through in a short period of time."

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Crook has left the less highly-charged atmosphere of Australia's A-League for life in the Championship after being recruited by Gunn to join a team that also includes another ex-Canary, Ian Butterworth, as assistant manager.

They've been in charge for just five games, but Crook says it doesn't mean they're not immune from the pressure. You always feel under pressure, but again there are different kinds of pressure," he said. "I once read of someone talking about the pressure on a sinking the winning putt in an Open Championship, but the guy actually said the most pressure is actually putting when you're trying to get your card on the tour.

"There is massive pressure on the top boys to get promotion, but you know what, there's bigger pressure down the bottom. You can't help but feel it - so long as it's not showing."

The new management team's remit is simple: keep City in the Championship - although with 13 games remaining there's little time for niceties. City slipped into the bottom three on Tuesday night as results went against them, but that could change in the next week or so with a brace of home games. "I am not going to lie," said Crook. "Everybody says we take each game as it comes but I have already looked at what we have got in the last three games of the season as well. You do, you look through it.

"In saying that, each game is a cup final for us. The next one is a cup final and after that's gone the next one's a cup final."

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