Our season to shine – Ipswich Town fans’ optimism soars after new signings

Thousands of fans flocked to Portman Road for the Ipswich Town FC open day. Visitors could get playe

Thousands of fans flocked to Portman Road for the Ipswich Town FC open day. Visitors could get players autographs and watch some training. - Credit: Archant

Cometh the new season, cometh the new hope. As Ipswich Town embark on their 15th campaign in the second division, fans have been urged to remain loyal and vocal at Portman Road.

With a number of new signings and a home game against Barnsley to kick off the season tomorrow, there is a sense of renewed optimism around the town.

Manager Mick McCarthy steered Town to the play-offs two seasons ago and, in an injury-plagued season last year, the club finished seventh.

And Town and England legend Terry Butcher has backed McCarthy and his Tractor Boys to take inspiration from the last two seasons and regain a play-off spot this season.

Speaking in our exclusive podcast, which can be listened to online, he said: “Getting into the play-offs is not an unreasonable target. We might be shooting for the stars a little bit, but I think at the end of the day that’s what the players have to go for.

“Not looking too far, but we are looking forward to May now. You have to have that in the back of your mind as players. You have to say, right, let’s make this a really good season because who knows what can happen in the play-offs. I think Norwich and Newcastle top two.

“But I’m more optimistic now even though we lost on Saturday (Royale Union Saint-Gilloise). I’m more optimistic now when I look at look at the signings and the potential signings to be added to the squad. Just look at the way the squad is battle-hardened in many respects, with that spine down the middle and players that can look after the younger ones. I think Mick has done a great job. It has just got to continue.”

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The Town boss himself yesterday declared himself as “excited” and “ready to go”.

He added: “Now the tingle comes, the excitement comes, the nerves come. As a player I always preferred the butterfly in the stomach that made me play better. It’s not getting any easier with the money being spent and the players coming into the league, but we’ll be up there competing again.

“The aim is simply to finish as high as we possibly can and compete with all those who have spent tens of millions.

“I hope we can entertain our fans and send them home happy. That’s our intention.”

Town play Barnsley at Portman Road tomorrow (3pm kick-off).