McCarthy’s solid start is among Ipswich Town best
PUBLISHED: 09:31 24 January 2013 | UPDATED: 09:31 24 January 2013
HAVING lifted the gloom among Blues fans, Mick McCarthy has brought the feel-good factor back to Ipswich, making one of the most impressive starts to a tenure at Portman Road.
The former Republic of Ireland boss has accrued 25 points from his first 15 games in charge of the Blues, a record only bettered – based on three points for a win – by Sir Alf Ramsey (28 points from 15 games) and the club’s first professional boss, Mick O’Brien (32 points from 15 games).
Should McCarthy continue in this fashion, beginning on Saturday at bottom-club Bristol City, the Blues will put a 13-point gap between themselves and the Robins and take a further step towards safety.
However, Town go into the game as the lowest scorers in the Championship (28) and with the worst goalscoring record away from home (11). The Blues are desperate for a new hero to step up to the mark.
With DJ Campbell looking set to join promotion-chasers Hull City, Town look set to miss out on the striker who plundered 10 goals for the club in a highly-successful loan spell earlier in the season.
Daryl Murphy is the next most prolific striker, having bagged five goals, while Michael Chopra has scored three.
But, perhaps more telling is the contribution from the rest of the team, especially the midfield, who have contributed just three goals between them this season.
Guirane N’Daw, Luke Hyam and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas have scored just one goal apiece, with last Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to strugglers Barnsley highlighting the need for more creativity in the team.
One possible solution could be Richie Wellens, another player who enjoyed a run of games on loan at Portman Road, earlier in the season.
The 32-year-old, who played seven times for Town, after being signed by previous boss Paul Jewell, is back to full fitness after injury and looks set to go out on loan in the next couple of days.
The midfield man is attracting interest from several Championship clubs and it is thought he will have a choice of five teams – although Town have yet to register an interest.