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Ipswich might not have achieved the success they wanted – but Marcus Evans is going nowhere

PUBLISHED: 12:48 19 December 2012 | UPDATED: 12:57 19 December 2012

Simon Clegg

Simon Clegg

Archant

MARCUS Evans thought he would be the owner of a Premier League club by now.

The multi-millionaire’s buy-out of Ipswich Town five years ago was met with jubilation among fans dreaming of a return to the top-flight – something the ambitious Evans thought would be achieved by the time he marked his first half-decade.

But the Blues’ repeated failure at challenging for promotion has done nothing to diminish the owner’s passion or enthusiasm.

Those are the sentiments of chief executive Simon Clegg who admits the Evans’ era – from a footballing perspective – has so far been disappointing.

But Clegg insisted: “No one can point the finger and say it has been through any lack of investment in the squad. It has just not happened.

“If it was as simple as money in equals results out, we would be in the Premier League by now – and everyone would be doing it.

“If you judge, as most people will do, the success or failure of the club by what happens on the pitch, I will put my hands up and say it has not been as successful as we would have liked.

“But I don’t think you can purely take it from that perspective. You have to look at other things like re-establishing the academy and all the investment there, bringing Bryan Klug back, upgrading the Playford Road training facility to a high-performance centre.”

Evans was heralded as a saviour after buying cash-strapped Town in December 2007 when many feared they would slip into a second administration. But after dismissing Jim Magilton 18 months after he bought the club, Evans’ recruitment of Roy Keane and then Paul Jewell subsequently saw Town fail to challenge the top-six before Mick McCarthy was given the manager’s job last month.

Clegg admitted: “I certainly think his expectation was that Ipswich Town would have been in the Premier League by now.

“He is not used to that type of failure, but he is also a man who takes a long-term view and is in the privileged position of being able to take a long-term view.

“It is not all about short-term gain, though that is great. There are some variables and unpredictables in football and he recognises it is about building for the future.”

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Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he is prepared to play a waiting game to sign the right striker before the transfer window shuts.

Summer signing Joe Garner scored his sixth goal of pre-season as Ipswich Town defeated Colchester United, 1-0, in a friendly at the Weston Homes Community Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Ipswich Town beat Colchester United 1-0 in a pre-season game at the Weston Homes Community Stadium tonight. STUART WATSON gives his thoughts.

Mick McCarthy has named a team mixed with youth and experience for tonight’s pre-season friendly at Colchester United.

Ipswich Town head to local rivals Colchester United tonight, as the Blues’ preparations for the new Championship season step up a notch.

The best young female footballers in the region will be coming to Ipswich Town as the club saw off strong competition from other teams to partner the Football Association and host the FA Women’s U21 East Region Academy.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy is confident he will have a striker signed before his side’s Championship opener against Birmingham City, at Portman Road, in just 11 days’ time.

Scorelines may not matter during pre-season, but the manner of performances and the attitudes of players in friendlies, such as tonight’s at Colchester United, do. Chris Brammer looks ahead ​to the game in Essex.

Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers knows his place in the team is not guaranteed this season.

Ipswich Town lost 2-1 at League One side Gillingham on Saturday. Stuart Watson looks at what we learned from the first set-back of pre-season...

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