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Monday verdict: Better is required now the bar has been raised

PUBLISHED: 12:43 28 September 2015 | UPDATED: 12:43 28 September 2015

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy, pictured during Saturday's 2-2 home draw with Bristol City. Photo: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy, pictured during Saturday's 2-2 home draw with Bristol City. Photo: Steve Waller

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Mick McCarthy’s honest, pragmatic, level-headed approach is what makes him one of the best managers in the Championship.

But the Blues boss can sometimes get the balance between praising the opposition and critiquing his own side slightly wrong.

Supporters wanted to hear their manager demand more from his players following Saturday’s 2-2 home draw with Bristol City. Instead, he failed to highlight any deficiencies and talked up the rock-bottom visitors’ display.

First of all, a prelude to the criticism. Beating the Robins was never going to be an easy task and those who expected a comfortable walk in the park at the weekend were naive. As the old cliche goes, anyone can beat anyone in the Championship and there is no divine right to three points.

And yet, if Town have serious ambitions of getting to the Premier League this season then these are the sort of games they should be bitterly disappointed not to win.

Yes, Steve Cotterill’s men made life difficult with their disciplined wing-back system. And yes, towering duo Aden Flint and Aaron Wilbraham were physically imposing at both ends of the field.

But Town could have also have done more at the end of a week that should have whetted everyone’s appetites and left them raring to burst out of the blocks.

Instead, the players who travelled to Old Trafford to watch on from the sidelines on Wednesday night – and swap shirts in the tunnel – produced a laboured display full of possession, but with little creative spark.

Keeper Dean Gerken and midfielder Jonathan Douglas have seemingly become scapegoats among some supporters in recent weeks, but the former made a super early save and the latter played a crucial role in Ryan Fraser’s late leveller.

Just as Chelsea have found this season, when several of your key players are below-par then the results dry up.

Summer signings such as Ryan Fraser, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Jonas Knudsen have all added something to the squad, but stalwarts such as Christophe Berra, Luke Chambers, Cole Skuse and Daryl Murphy – all of whom you could hang your hat on last season – have failed to hit those same heights of late.

Harsh? Perhaps, given City’s leveller involved a huge slice of luck and Town showed spirit to equalise themselves late on.

But the bar was raised last season and then set another notch higher following a flying start to this campaign.

Ipswich Town new boy Dominic Iorfa believes his strongest position, in the long-term, will be centre-back.

Three of Ipswich Town’s summer signings are struggling to be fit for next Saturday’s Championship opener against Birmingham City, at Portman Road.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he will be restricted to signing a striker on loan due to the fact the Blues can’t compete financially with some of the ‘bonkers’ transfer fees being spent in the Championship.

Blues fans of all ages have gathered at Portman Road today to meet their heroes ahead of the start of the new season.

Huge queues are building up outside Portman Road this morning for today’s annual Ipswich Town Open Day.

The second tier season starts next Friday, however, clubs are working frantically to add to their squads, ahead of a long campaign. Several deals HAVE already been done though and CHRIS BRAMMER picks out six of the best.

Nearly 60 per cent of Ipswich Town fans would like to see Luke Chambers start in the heart of the Blues defence, alongside Adam Webster, when the Championship season begins next Saturday.

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

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy won’t sacrifice results to satisfy supporters’ thirst for more attractive football at Portman Road this season.

Colchester United manager John McGreal insists his players still have a lot of room for improvement, ahead of the U’s League Two opener at Accrington Stanley, next Saturday.

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