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Jan 6, 2012

Magilton confident he can lift Victory

New Melbourne Victory boss Jim Magilton is confident he won't become another transplanted British coach who fails in the A-League.

Ex-Northern Ireland international Magilton was unveiled on Saturday as the Victory's coach until the end of the season after Mehmet Durakovic was sacked the previous day.

Magilton, 42, boasts a decorated record as a player, but has had little concrete success in his head coaching stints at Ipswich Town and Queens Park Rangers in the English Championship.

His biggest managerial achievement was as an assistant at Irish club Shamrock Rovers, helping guide their surprise qualification for the Europa League.

Magilton said he was confident of success in the A-League - a competition which has found out previous British big-names Steve McMahon and Terry Butcher and currently dangles a question mark over Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson.

While he admits his knowledge of the A-League is confined to highlights on British television, Magilton has promised the expansive, passing game which was his stock in trade at Ipswich will be rolled out at the Victory.

"I am passionate, I am meticulous, I am astute - I hope - and I am very much hands-on," Magilton said.

"I've always been regarded as playing an attractive brand of passing football. That's the way I played. That's the way I like my teams to play."

Magilton is also confident he can handle egos in and around the Victory dressing-room, as he attempts to keep high-profile stars like Harry Kewell happy and satisfy a board desperate for success.

"Any player anywhere in the world, some are going to need an arm around their shoulder, some are going to need a carrot, some are going to need a stick," Magilton said.

"It's finding out about them, profiling them very quickly, very early ... with the playing ability in the squad, they've probably underachieved.

"I'll get them organised, I'll get them in a system that will suit, and we'll hit the ground running."

Magilton's recruitment was overseen in large part by Victory board member Ian McLeod, the head of supermarket chain Coles and a former Glasgow Celtic chief executive.

McLeod met Magilton at Melbourne Airport on his Saturday morning arrival, after he was offered the job soon after the Victory's 2-0 loss to Central Coast on Wednesday night.

Club chairman Anthony Di Pietro and Magilton believe the interim deal works for both parties, with the Victory to make a permanent appointment after this season.

If Magilton has success, he could well become the Victory's next long-term coach.

Otherwise, the club will cast its net wider.

"That gives Jim a chance to be assessed by us and for him to assess the club. It's an opportunity we hopes extends on to a future coaching opportunity with this club," Di Pietro said.

Magilton said he would keep on the current coaching staff, including assistant Kevin Muscat.

The ex-Southampton, Oxford and Ipswich star will officially start his coaching duties on Monday.

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