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Mick McCarthy was always wary of the honeymoon period coming to an end

PUBLISHED: 06:00 24 December 2012

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy

Archant

THE honeymoon period is fading – now the hard work really starts.

That was the view of realistic Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy following Saturday’s drab 1-1 home draw with fellow strugglers Bristol City.

The Blues had quickly climbed off the bottom of the Championship table thanks to a return of 16 points from a possible 24 under their new boss, but are back within just three points of safety following a 2-0 defeat at Leeds and Saturday’s equally below-par performance.

The pragmatic McCarthy had never got carried away by his early successes though and always insisted that the Suffolk side could well remain in a relegation dogfight until the final day of the campaign.

And with just five points now separating the bottom five, he has repeated that level-headed mantra.

“We were never going to just keep winning,” said the Blues boss, whose side travel to Charlton on Boxing Day before visiting his former club, Wolves, on Saturday.

“We’ve had a good run, but you see it with lots of teams that when a new manager comes in they have a good run because everything is shiny and new. Can we maintain that level? We’ll have to wait and see.”

He added: “I was asked recently whether the goal was still simply being out of the relegation zone come May the fourth and I said yes it is. We just want to be safe and secure come the final day.

“I’ve never done anything other than look over my shoulder. The results of the last two weeks – both ours and those of the teams around us – hasn’t changed my view on things.”

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Long-serving defender Tommy Smith admits the tears were flowing when he said goodbye to his Ipswich Town team mates having today completed his move to MLS side Colorado Rapids.

Ipswich Town remain 12th in the Championship table following Saturday’s dire 1-1 draw at lowly Bolton Wanderers.

Martyn Waghorn knows he and his team-mates must rediscover their clinical side and begin to put together winning runs if they are maintain any kind of play-off push.

Former Ipswich Town player Georges Santos joined Andy Warren for a special edition of the Kings of Anglia Podcast.

Joe Garner turned home to finish off a superb Ipswich Town move as the Blues rescued a draw at Bolton.

Town fan Karl Fuller looks back at Town’s draw at Bolton and why one of Mick McCarthy’s after-match comments was not needed

The answer to the question Mick McCarthy posed after his side’s 1-1 draw at Bolton is undoubtedly ‘no’.

Terry Hunt says a feeling of togetherness between fans and the club appears a million miles away at Portman Road right now.

Player watch: It’s fair to say Ipswich Town’s two Friday signings split opinion when they were unveiled.

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