‘I still think Mick McCarthy is the man’, says Ipswich Town legend Terry Butcher

Mick McCarthy gets his point of view across from the technical area at Carrow Road. Picture: Pagepix

Mick McCarthy gets his point of view across from the technical area at Carrow Road. Picture: Pagepix

Ipswich Town legend Terry Butcher says it’s vital the Blues maintain their positive momentum between now and the end of the season, and insists Mick McCarthy is still the man to lead Town.

A dark cloud hung over Portman Road at the end of January following some limp displays and failure to land a multi-million pound striker in the transfer window, with Mick McCarthy’s pragmatic tactics and owner Marcus Evans’ lack of spending leaving many supporters seriously considering whether to renew their season tickets over the coming weeks.

The mood has been transformed by a five-game unbeaten run against some of the Championship’s leading lights though.

“There is no doubt that we’ve seen signs of improvement,” enthused Butcher. “(Emyr) Huws and (Toumani) Diagouraga have made a big difference in midfield, other signings like Jordan Spence have added competition for places, while the wing-back system suits a lot of players.

“Town are back to being difficult to break down, but they’ve also looked a threat. I know it’s been four draws and a win, but that was against teams looking to finish in the top six.”

With the Blues hosting Brentford (13th) and Wolves (20th) on Saturday and next Tuesday respectively, Butcher continued: “For the first time in a long time, fans will actually be looking forward to going to Portman Road.

“This is a crucial few months now. Town have to capitalise on this renewed positivity and not let the season fade away into a damp squib.

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“Soon people will be thinking hard about whether to renew their season tickets and will need convincing that next year can be better. “I personally am full of hope there are brighter times ahead. Reading and Leeds are supposedly two of the better teams in the division and they were both awful here recently.

“If that’s the gap to the top six then I think Ipswich are only two or three players away from being competitive again.

“The summer transfer window will be key and a good finish to the season would enable the club to attract better players.”

He added: “It did look like we’d reached a point where the inevitable would happen and Mick would move on, but he is strong, determined and dogged and he’s turned it around. I still think Mick is the man, I’ve got no doubts about that in my mind.”

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