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Don’t panic – now is not the time to throw the baby out with the bath water

08:00 12 February 2013

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy

Phill Heywood

IT’S time to take a look at the bigger picture.


Ipswich Town fans are again feeling edgy after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Blackburn plunged the Blues to within a point of the Championship drop zone.

The 4-0 home win over Middlesbrough is Town’s only win in 2013 so far, with the bottom three of Barnsley, Bristol City and Peterborough having all claimed more points than Town over the last 10 games.

However, it’s important to note that seven teams have all taken less points than the Blues during that period – the likes of Wolves, Huddersfield and Nottingham Forest dropping like stones.

In fact, if you analyse the period since Mick McCarthy arrived at Portman Road, then there are plenty of reasons to feel optimistic that Town will beat the drop.

Over the 18 league games that McCarthy has been in charge, 28 points have been claimed from a possible 54. Only three teams in the division – promotion-chasing Cardiff (39), Watford (37) and Hull (34) – have bettered that since the start of November.

Town undoubtedly lack a creative spark at times, with the central midfield duo of Luke Hyam and Guirane N’Daw defence-minded and a paucity of wide options highlighted by the fact that strikers Aaron Mclean and Frank Nouble ended Saturday’s match on the wings.

Let’s not forget that the Blues, for all the goals they scored under Paul Jewell’s fluid 4-2-3-1 formation, used to be very much a soft touch defensively though. That is what put them in this mess and it’s McCarthy’s emphasis on organisation and work-rate which got them out of it.

The likes of Anthony Wordsworth, Andy Drury, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Michael Chopra are certainly options should McCarthy decide to freshen things up, but at the same time he can’t afford to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

“I don’t get too high when we win, I try not to get too low when we lose,” said McCarthy, whose side now play Blackpool (Saturday) and Watford (Tuesday) in back-to-back home matches. “We always try and keep a level-headedness about us.”

With 45 points still to play for, it’s very much a case of keeping calm and carrying on.

<Championship form table since Mick McCarthy arrived at Ipswich>

1st Cardiff 39pts

2nd Watford 37pts

3rd Hull 34pts

= 4th IPSWICH 28pts

= 4th Leicester 28pts

= 4th Derby 28pts

= 4th Palace 28pts

8th Brighton 27pts

= 9th Burnley 26pts

= 9th Charlton 26pts

= 11th Middlesbrough 25pts

= 11th Millwall 25pts

13th Sheff Wed 24pts

= 14th Blackburn 23pts

= 14th Leeds 23pts

= 14th Bolton 23pts

= 17th Birmingham 22pts

= 17th Blackpool 22pts

19th Peterborough 21pts

= 20th Bristol City 20pts

= 20th Nottm Forest 20pts

22nd Barnsley 19pts

23rd Huddersfield 17pts

24th Wolves 13pts



  • Bobby Robson built his team up from the back and I praise McCarthy for doing the same. I'm confident he can keep us up and that he's shown enough already to impress me and give me the belief that he can bring in the players he wants in the summer and we can start next season on a positive. The championship gets harder every year - especially if wealthy clubs like QPR and Aston Villa come donw next season, but with McCarthy in and Clegg gone, I feel the club can finally start moving up the table (from next season). Top 10 has to be the aim for the next 2 years (at least)

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    Tom Conder

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Plenty of reasons to feel optimistic? I can't see them. Every time we get into a position where a win would move us out of trouble we lose. And I wouldn't say JET and Chopra are certainly options, would not like to see either playing or even subs on Saturday, a game we must win. How can we beat Middlesbrough 4-0 one week and play apathetically and lose to an ordinary side the next? Something is wrong somewhere, as it has been for several years, in fact ever since Sheepshanks led us into administration. Do I sound despondent after 45 years? Well I am.

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    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • All of our recent failed managers have had a honeymoon period where the players decide to put in a bit more effort for the new manager. The fact Paul Jewell scored 31 points from his first 18 games compared to McCarthy's 28 tells you we're in big trouble now the honeymoon is over.

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    Ted Maul

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013


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    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Sorry to be petty Stuart but I'm confused what your intention is with this article. The headline suggests you're debating whether Town need to take action of some kind (getting rid of McCarthy??). This can't possibly be right - McCarthy is light years ahead of his predecessors Keane and Jewell in regards to experience and know-how! Most Town fans are looking at the league table and worrying, but I can't believe anyone is debating whether 'drastic action' is required. Or, are you simply telling us to not panic? In which case, surely a slightly less ambiguous headline would have done the trick?

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    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Quite right. That is all.

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    Andrew Mehen

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • pity the season started in august then.

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    clever canary

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Steroo's diatribe against this paper really does suggest to me he was a failed "journo" himself, and now a bitter attention seeker. The comment "whether Town deserve to stay up playing a team based on other club's players, is an altogether different question" is a preposterous suggestion, given that loaning players is entirely legitimate.

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    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Re;John Burls, I too have followed the Town since Bill McGarrys time, but we have been spoiled throughout the seventies and eighties, and had us all believing that we would always be a top side. Sadly, reality returned and although we had the chance in 2000 to recover our status we blew it, and now we are just another run of the mill Championship side who are struggling to face up to the fact that we are no longer seen as a side to be feared. Leeds, the two Sheffield clubs, Wolves,Bolton,Leicester, Forest are all teams who think they should be playing at a higher level, and arguably all of them have a stronger claim than we do. Also, we've lost our identity and a complete re-vamp is required if we are serious about a return to the top flight any time soon.

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    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Nice article and very well researched. It gives us hope at the very least.

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    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Ted you are so right, lets hope there is some truth in the for sale stories, there is no smoke without fire.

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    Cyril Baker

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Steroo I think you will find Watford win that one and look where they are.

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    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • I get dissapointed at comments our current squad if good enough to avoid relegation, which it may well be, however surely we should be building a team now to we have a real chance of promotion next season, therefore we should still be looking at loans of up and coming players that we can sign for next season.

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    Cyril Baker

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

  • Good Lord a rational piece of writing in the EADT. Maybe it took one or two sane voices on yesterday's webchat to point out that Town's form even in their 'mini-slump' has been better than several clubs because you third rate journos have suddenly changed your tune... and with a couple of home games coming up which Town are likely to snatch narrow wins from instead of narrow defeats, the 6 to 8 point buffer between Town and the drop will be restored. Looking at the bigger picture, whether Town deserve to stay up playing a team based on other club's players, is an altogether different question. Perhaps you EADT journos with time on your hands should draw up another league table based on how many loan players division 2 clubs employ. I guarantee Offshore Investment FC are rock bottom in that table of shame.

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    Rob Steroo

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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