Could he have done much more? Mick McCarthy set to celebrate his two year anniversary as Ipswich Town manager

Mick McCarthy, pictured after being appointed Ipswich Town manager in November 2012.

Mick McCarthy, pictured after being appointed Ipswich Town manager in November 2012. - Credit: Andrew Partridge

Could he have done much more?

That’s the debate ahead of Mick McCarthy’s second-year anniversary as Ipswich Town manager tomorrow.

Supporters are seemingly split. A poll held by this newspaper’s website asked how good a job the straight-talking Yorkshireman has done as Blues boss.

The top accolade – ‘brilliant’ – received 40% of the vote, with the second choice on the sliding scale – ‘good’ – returning 56%.

A record of P98 W38 D29 L31 F121 A112 suggests mediocrity. A win percentage of 38% puts him on a par with Jim Magilton and marginally ahead of Roy Keane (35%) and Paul Jewell and (34%).

It’s all about context though. The Blues were rock-bottom of the Championship table and devoid of confidence when McCarthy first arrived on November 1, 2012.

Now, with little more than a quarter of this season gone, they are just five points adrift of leaders Derby.

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The very fact that some supporters are a little a disappointed with that is the ultimate compliment.

The first few months of the job were all about firefighting. And the rebuilding process has been undertaken on a severely restricted budget.

True, an emphasis on hard work and organisation hasn’t made for a great deal of entertaining footballing fare. At times the stubborn refusal to play anyone with a smidgen of flair or creativity has been frustrating for the paying punter.

It was needs-must though and there have been encouraging signs that the playing style is evolving.

Don’t underestimate the off-field achievements either. The wage bill has been slashed, the value of the squad has rocketed, while players are no longer walking away at the end of their contracts.

Stability and consistency may not be sexy, but you need to walk before you can run. McCarthy has laid down some solid foundations following a chaotic period in the club’s history – and for that all Blues fans should be grateful.

– For a break down of results, transfers and key quotes from McCarthy’s two years at Ipswich Town, follow the link in the top right of this story.

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