Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 5°C

Kings of Anglia Issue 8 Magazine Offer

Northstander: Mick McCarthy era has unravelled, and nothing will change until he goes

PUBLISHED: 15:31 01 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:31 01 November 2017

Mick McCarthy has now been boss of Ipswich Town for five years. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

Mick McCarthy has now been boss of Ipswich Town for five years. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

Pagepix Ltd 07976 935738

Mick McCarthy has now passed his fifth anniversary as Ipswich Town manager. Veteran Blues fan TERRY HUNT assesses the McCarthy era.

A game of two halves. That’s how I sum up Mick McCarthy’s time at Portman Road.

The first half of his reign was very successful, saving Town from dropping to the third tier and steering the team to the play-offs despite an uncompetitive budget.

But in the last couple of years it has unravelled, with disappointing results, oh-so dull football, falling attendances, and a growing rift developing between manager and supporters.

- McCarthy rues soft goals in defeat at Cardiff

Let’s start with the positives. Town were in a mess when McCarthy arrived on November 1 2012, bottom of the Championship and seemingly destined to play third tier football for the first time since 1957.

Mick’s no-nonsense approach was just what the doctor ordered. He steadied the ship, avoided relegation, and started building a decent team despite owner Marcus Evans keeping a tight grip on the purse strings.

In the 2014-15 season, Town exceeded all reasonable expectations. With Daryl Murphy in the goalscoring form of his life, Ipswich made the play-offs, losing to Norwich in the semi-final.

That was the high point for McCarthy at Ipswich. I remember writing how Ipswich fans now had a team they could be proud of. The bond between manager, players and supporters was very close.

Mick McCarthy on the day he was unveiled at Portman Road, with former CEO Simon Clegg. Picture: ARCHANTMick McCarthy on the day he was unveiled at Portman Road, with former CEO Simon Clegg. Picture: ARCHANT

Sadly, it’s been downhill all the way since, mainly due to lack of investment, leading to questions about the club’s ambition.

At the beginning of the 2016-2017 season, Daryl Murphy was sold to Newcastle. He was never replaced, and the campaign was characterised by deadly dull football. Results were poor, too, with Town looking nervously over their shoulder at the relegation zone at various times.

- Stuart says: Six observations from Town’s defeat at Cardiff

The relationship between the fans and McCarthy deteriorated, with the manager’s dismissive post-match comments adding fuel to the fire of discontent. The club’s decision to increase season ticket prices certainly didn’t help, with 2,000 supporters walking away.

Mick McCarthy on the day he was named Town boss. Picture: ITFCMick McCarthy on the day he was named Town boss. Picture: ITFC

This season started well, but it was yet another false dawn. The team look set for another mid-table finish, and McCarthy’s extraordinary rant after the Burton game has driven another wedge between him and the loyal supporters.

The qualities which served McCarthy so well early in his time at Portman Road are now backfiring, and infuriating supporters. It’s difficult to see anything changing while he is in charge. So that means another frustrating season until, hopefully, he moves on next summer.

Almost £60,000 of fines were handed out to drug-drivers across Suffolk in the last year as figures revealed almost half of those tested at the roadside gave positive saliva samples.

Jump aboard one of the country’s most spectacular trains and celebrate Christmas in style.

A young teacher died after attempting a “high performance” skydiving manoeuvre, an inquest heard.

Highways chiefs in Suffolk have confirmed that plans are afoot to improve roads around Martlesham’s retail parks.

A steampunk “extravaganza” is launching on the Suffolk coast, featuring curiosities with a Halloween twist.

Patients have hit out at “scandalous” parking charges at our region’s hospitals after it was revealed they made millions of pounds from their car parks.

The count-down to the weekend has begun we re-live Saturday night in our Yates picture gallery.

Suffolk police are appealing for witnesses after a property was burgled in Ipswich last week.

Watch our video tour of The Old Rectory, a £1.35m home set on 1.6 acres of land for sale in Tattingstone.

Foodbanks across the region are preparing for a “record-breaking” holiday season – with volunteers warning Universal Credit has sparked a leap in demand from people living below the breadline.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24