Ipswich: Beattie leads Town fan loyalty test

NOW is the time to prove your loyalty.

That was the message to Blues fans today from former Ipswich Town star Kevin Beattie, who called on supporters to fill Portman Road tomorrow and back new boss Mick McCarthy.

The Tractor Boys are rock-bottom of the Championship and five points from safety.

“Without doubt now is the time more than ever for the fans to start showing their support again,” said Beattie, who played for Ipswich 228 times.

“It is sad to see only 15,000 turning up. In the 70s we use to get 31,000/32,000.

“It has an effect on the players as well. You start noticing the big gaps in the crowds.

“But the more people that back you and the more faces you see on the seats the more geared up for it you are.”

Most Read

The club is offering fans a ticket incentive ahead of tomorrow’s game in an effort to give McCarthy a proper Portman Road welcome.

For each adult ticket bought for the Burnley game fans will be eligible for a �10 ticket to see Town play either Millwall or Bristol City.

Retrospective discounts will apply for those who have already purchased their tickets.

Town chief executive Simon Clegg said: “Ipswich Town needs its fans and their support more so now than at any other time in recent years.

“Mick McCarthy’s arrival at Portman Road should herald a new era but the table doesn’t lie and we need to dig deep to get ourselves out of the relegation zone.

“No one should underestimate the battle ahead [but] together we are stronger and together as a club we will get through this.

“Now is the time for us all to unite to give the team the support which will help boost their confidence and deliver the results we need.”

Former Wolves and Republic of Ireland manager McCarthy replaced Paul Jewell as manager last week and got off to the perfect start with a hard-fought 1-0 win at Birmingham last Saturday.

But a sobering five-goal thrashing at league-leaders Crystal Palace on Tuesday illustrated the size of the new gaffer’s task.

The Selhurst Park hammering makes tomorrow’s clash with Burnley even more important.

And former ace Beattie is urging Town fans to come out in their droves and support their beloved Blues.

“Forget about last Saturday, forget about Tuesday – it starts again tomorrow,” he said.

“We need to get behind Mick against Burnley.

“He will bring back the fans because they will connect with him.

“He is a disciplinarian and will weed out the slackers. He will sort them out. I’m sure the fans will love him.”

n The club’s Town Time promotion will also be in operation tomorrow, offering fans a voucher for a second free pint, before or after the game, when they purchase a pint more than 30 minutes before kick-off.