Don’t panic – now is not the time to throw the baby out with the bath water
- Credit: Phill Heywood
IT’S time to take a look at the bigger picture.
Ipswich Town fans are again feeling edgy after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Blackburn plunged the Blues to within a point of the Championship drop zone.
The 4-0 home win over Middlesbrough is Town’s only win in 2013 so far, with the bottom three of Barnsley, Bristol City and Peterborough having all claimed more points than Town over the last 10 games.
However, it’s important to note that seven teams have all taken less points than the Blues during that period – the likes of Wolves, Huddersfield and Nottingham Forest dropping like stones.
In fact, if you analyse the period since Mick McCarthy arrived at Portman Road, then there are plenty of reasons to feel optimistic that Town will beat the drop.
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Over the 18 league games that McCarthy has been in charge, 28 points have been claimed from a possible 54. Only three teams in the division – promotion-chasing Cardiff (39), Watford (37) and Hull (34) – have bettered that since the start of November.
Town undoubtedly lack a creative spark at times, with the central midfield duo of Luke Hyam and Guirane N’Daw defence-minded and a paucity of wide options highlighted by the fact that strikers Aaron Mclean and Frank Nouble ended Saturday’s match on the wings.
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Let’s not forget that the Blues, for all the goals they scored under Paul Jewell’s fluid 4-2-3-1 formation, used to be very much a soft touch defensively though. That is what put them in this mess and it’s McCarthy’s emphasis on organisation and work-rate which got them out of it.
The likes of Anthony Wordsworth, Andy Drury, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Michael Chopra are certainly options should McCarthy decide to freshen things up, but at the same time he can’t afford to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
“I don’t get too high when we win, I try not to get too low when we lose,” said McCarthy, whose side now play Blackpool (Saturday) and Watford (Tuesday) in back-to-back home matches. “We always try and keep a level-headedness about us.”
With 45 points still to play for, it’s very much a case of keeping calm and carrying on.
<Championship form table since Mick McCarthy arrived at Ipswich>
1st Cardiff 39pts
2nd Watford 37pts
3rd Hull 34pts
= 4th IPSWICH 28pts
= 4th Leicester 28pts
= 4th Derby 28pts
= 4th Palace 28pts
8th Brighton 27pts
= 9th Burnley 26pts
= 9th Charlton 26pts
= 11th Middlesbrough 25pts
= 11th Millwall 25pts
13th Sheff Wed 24pts
= 14th Blackburn 23pts
= 14th Leeds 23pts
= 14th Bolton 23pts
= 17th Birmingham 22pts
= 17th Blackpool 22pts
19th Peterborough 21pts
= 20th Bristol City 20pts
= 20th Nottm Forest 20pts
22nd Barnsley 19pts
23rd Huddersfield 17pts
24th Wolves 13pts