Former Blues boss McCarthy back at Portman Road to watch spirited draw with Derby
PUBLISHED: 21:46 13 February 2019 | UPDATED: 09:38 14 February 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Mick McCarthy was back at Portman Road this evening to watch Ipswich Town take on Derby County.
The former Blues boss, who left the club last April after nearly six years in charge of the club, was sat alongside general manager of football operations Lee O’Neill, in the box usually occupied by owner Marcus Evans.
McCarthy is now in charge of the Republic of Ireland for a second spell, taking on the role until after Euro 2020 before handing over to Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny.
This was McCarthy’s first return to Portman Road since dramatically leaving his post following a 1-0 victory over Barnsley, having already agreed to depart at the end of the 2017/18 season.
He will have been keeping a firm eye on the performance of Ipswich playmaker and Ireland international Alan Judge, who he tried to bring to Portman Road on two occasions, while striker Will Keane is said to be contemplating a change of international allegiance having previously represented England at youth levels.
With Ipswich now managed by Paul Lambert, after Paul Hurst was sacked after just 15 games as McCarthy’s replacement, the Blues team which faced the Rams is unrecognisable from the one that lined up for McCarthy’s last game.
Of the Ipswich starting XI in that game, only three were in the squad for this evening’s game – Bartosz Bialkowski, Jonas Knudsen and Myles Kenlock.
Martyn Waghorn, sold in the summer, was in the Derby side in a game which ultimately ended 1-1.
Also in attendance this evening were Nottingham Forest boss Martin O’Neill, Millwall manager Neil Harris and Brighton’s Chris Hughton.
John McGreal, now in charge of Colchester, was also at tonight’s game.