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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.

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.

Ipswich Town drew a scrappy Championship match 1-1 at Bolton Wanderers this afternoon. STUART WATSON gives his snap observations.

Joe Garner netted an 82nd equaliser as Town draw 1-1 with Bolton at the Macron Stadium.

- Here is the selection of tweets from Town fans

How impressed and who had more to give? Andy Warren hands out his player grades after Town’s 1-1 draw at Bolton.

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