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Time for Groundhog Day scenario to end at Ipswich Town

12:00 12 December 2012

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy

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TWENTY-one games into the season and there is a familiar look to the table for Ipswich Town fans.

The Blues have 23 points heading into the busy Christmas period – three points less than previous boss Paul Jewell had at this stage of last season and just one less than his predecessor Roy Keane had amassed come this point of the 2010/11 campaign.

On both the aforementioned occasions, Town ended up finishing the season placed 15th in the Championship.

However, with real momentum being gained under new boss Mick McCarthy, there is hope that baby steps of progress can now finally be made at English football’s current longest-serving second tier club.

A point-and-half-per-game would see the Blues beat their finishing tally of 61 from last season. So far McCarthy’s record stands at two points-per-game, with a return of 16 points from a possible 24 only matched by second-placed Crystal Palace over the last eight matches.

“Both feelings can spread through the club pretty quickly; that negative feeling when you can’t get a result and that feel-good factor you get when you get wins,” said McCarthy, who inherited a side bottom-of-the-table and continues to insist that the goal continues to be simply avoiding relegation.

“Those feelings can permeate through the core of the club, through the management, the players, the fans and the press.”

Momentum, quite clearly, is key.

There have been so many false dawns at Ipswich Town over the last decade that many supporters are refusing to get carried away just yet. Keane lost just one match in the opening eight games of the 2010/11 season, while Jewell picked up 14 points from his first eight games in charge.

The hope is, however, that this latest revival in fortunes has more substance about it, with McCarthy’s average time spent in each of his previous managerial posts being nearly five years and owner Marcus Evans appearing to have loosened the purse strings is recent months.

Three of the Blues’ next four games are away from home (Leeds, Charlton and Wolves), with a home game against fellow strugglers Bristol City making up the matches that will conclude the rollercoaster calendar year of 2012.

But it will only be at the end of the January transfer window – when McCarthy begins to sort out the uncertainty surrounding loanees and contracts – that we will have a true indication as to whether the club are finally able to escape Groundhog Day.

6 comments

  • What tosh. You rightly point out that Offshore Investment FC are 2nd to Palace on current form, then have the gall to say there is an upcoming game against 'fellow strugglers' Bristol City. The reality is that Town are half a team - about to lose their current crop of mercenaries and will have to bed yet more in, assuming Mick the Man's conservative nature will continue to see him ignore young players already on the books. The obvious conclusion is that such an average team under a plodder of a manager will get 1.5 points per game over the rest of the season. Hopefully Mick the Man will start to attempt to build a team - but few who are in touch with reality will believe that is possible under the current regime.

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    Rob Steroo

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • And this is exactly why I urge all supporters not to get too carried away. There have been many false dawns before and although McCarthy's reign has started well so too did Paul Jewell's and Roy Keane's. This is a well considered article and let us hope, as true blue supporters, that the tide is finally beginning to turn...

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    FRANK WESTON

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • Think Mick's realistic view about initially avoiding relegation is spot on. Momentum is with us for a change, but we've not got a very different squad of players have we? Stability will not happen unless we change the core. 7 points is probably dreamland from the next four matches. Brilliant if we can achieve that, but anything more than 4 is a bonus. Well done Mick, keep level headed.

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    EuroSupporter

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • I think Mick is doing a fantastic job with the squad he has, he is having to deal with players and get the best he can out of them, anything mid table has to be a great achievement. Then Mick can start building, well done Mick, its all uphill but all good.

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    A Rust

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • 7 points from those 4 games will be a good haul. No report, as yet, on last night's AGM. Btw, Did Kevin raise the motion of no confidence in Mr Clegg et al?

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    Mike Wyatt

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • Good article. Even allowing for the initial honeymoon effect with Mick McCarthy, he has done well. 16 points from 8 games is demonstrably better than the equivalent points haul achieved by the 4 or 5 other newly appointed managers in the same period. I think we will end up about 12th anything better than that will be a bonus. Lets hope that DJ isn't forced to return to QPR come January.

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    Richard Gardiner

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

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

Former Ipswich Town star Darren Ambrose is confident that his beloved Blues will come good under manager Mick McCarthy following a ‘transitional period’.

Ipswich Town will host National League outfit Lincoln City in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup, after the Imps defeated League One side, Oldham Athletic, 3-2, at Sincil Bank on Monday night.

Ex-Ipswich Town homegrown star Titus Bramble is back at the club as a youth team coach. STUART WATSON spoke to him about an emotional trip to Ghana and how he wants the Blues’ current teenagers not to repeat his mistakes.

Ipswich Town’s inconsistent form continued with a 2-0 defeat at Bristol City on Saturday and has left supporters wondering just what their club’s ambitions are for the future.

Just what is the plan? Ipswich Town fans deserve some clarity because it’s impossible to work out what the club’s short, medium and long-term ambitions are right now.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy admits it has been ‘one step forwards, one step back’ for his side this season following today’s 2-0 defeat at Bristol City.

Ipswich Town lost 2-0 at Bristol City for the second season in succession courtesy of a controversial first half penalty and a second half screamer.

It was the Blue’s biggest win of the season – but after defeating QPR Mick McCarthy’s men now have to show they can start putting together back-to-back wins in order to climb up the table.

Ipswich Town head to Ashton Gate this afternoon, aiming to record back-to-back wins in the Championship for the first time this season.

Cole Skuse returns to Ashton Gate for the first time as an opposition player today, when his Ipswich Town side travel to Bristol City.

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