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McCarthy’s solid start is among Ipswich Town best

PUBLISHED: 09:31 24 January 2013 | UPDATED: 09:31 24 January 2013

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy

Archant

HAVING lifted the gloom among Blues fans, Mick McCarthy has brought the feel-good factor back to Ipswich, making one of the most impressive starts to a tenure at Portman Road.

The former Republic of Ireland boss has accrued 25 points from his first 15 games in charge of the Blues, a record only bettered – based on three points for a win – by Sir Alf Ramsey (28 points from 15 games) and the club’s first professional boss, Mick O’Brien (32 points from 15 games).

Should McCarthy continue in this fashion, beginning on Saturday at bottom-club Bristol City, the Blues will put a 13-point gap between themselves and the Robins and take a further step towards safety.

However, Town go into the game as the lowest scorers in the Championship (28) and with the worst goalscoring record away from home (11). The Blues are desperate for a new hero to step up to the mark.

With DJ Campbell looking set to join promotion-chasers Hull City, Town look set to miss out on the striker who plundered 10 goals for the club in a highly-successful loan spell earlier in the season.

Daryl Murphy is the next most prolific striker, having bagged five goals, while Michael Chopra has scored three.

But, perhaps more telling is the contribution from the rest of the team, especially the midfield, who have contributed just three goals between them this season.

Guirane N’Daw, Luke Hyam and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas have scored just one goal apiece, with last Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to strugglers Barnsley highlighting the need for more creativity in the team.

One possible solution could be Richie Wellens, another player who enjoyed a run of games on loan at Portman Road, earlier in the season.

The 32-year-old, who played seven times for Town, after being signed by previous boss Paul Jewell, is back to full fitness after injury and looks set to go out on loan in the next couple of days.

The midfield man is attracting interest from several Championship clubs and it is thought he will have a choice of five teams – although Town have yet to register an interest.

Former Ipswich Town and Norwich City players have recounted their East Anglian derby memories ahead of Sunday’s clash between the sides at Portman Road.

Norwich City will ‘never, ever be a bigger club than Ipswich Town’, says Blues legend Ray Crawford.

Norwich City travel to Ipswich Town for the latest episode of the East Anglian football derby on Sunday.

The wait is nearly over – the first East Anglian derby of the season takes place this Sunday lunchtime (12pm ko) as Ipswich Town host Norwich City at Portman Road.

Ipswich Town host Norwich City in the first East Anglian derby of the 2017/18 campaign this Sunday lunchtime (12pm ko).

Suffolk FA Women’s Cup

Ipswich Town 11

Walsham-le-Willows 0

Ipswich Town Ladies turned in another high class performance as they progressed to the second round of the Suffolk FA Women’s Cup with an 11-0 pasting of Walsham-le-Willows.

Norwich City striker Nelson Oliveira last night kicked off derby week with a shot at Ipswich Town – insisting the Canaries are a ‘better club’ than the Blues, and have ‘better players.’

Next Sunday’s derby now assumes even great significance after Saturday’s disappointing result at Bramall Lane, writes Northstander Terry Hunt.

The 2017/18 honeymoon period is well and truly over, the bubble has burst, normal service has resumed. Our beloved Ipswich are dropping back to where they belong – mid-table at best...

Consider this an East Anglian derby rallying cry.

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