Ipswich Town can get promoted into the Premier League under Mick McCarthy, says Forest Green Rovers boss Adrian Pennock

Forest Green Rovers boss Adrian Pennock

Forest Green Rovers boss Adrian Pennock - Credit: Gloucestershire Media

Mick McCarthy’s style of play might divide opinion among Town fans, but avid Tractor Boy Adrian Pennock certainly thinks owner Marcus Evans has got the right man.

Heading in the right direction, Town manager Mick McCarthy

Heading in the right direction, Town manager Mick McCarthy

Growing up as a Town fan during the Sir Bobby Robson era, Pennock has experienced plenty of highs and lows supporting the club he loves over the years.

With Ipswich known as one of many ‘sleeping giants’ in the game after an extended period in the second tier of English football, Town have infamously attempted promotion charges under recent managers Roy Keane and Paul Jewell, only to fail spectacularly.

But the Blues have settled since McCarthy took the reigns in November 2012 and are still in the race for an unlikely play-off place this season, despite McCarthy hardly having a penny to spend – unlike predecessors Keane and Jewell – who spent millions on players.

“Mick is a fantastic manager,” declared Pennock. “Alongside Terry Connor, he’s definitely the right man for Ipswich.

“What they’ve done on such a small budget is nothing short of a miracle.

“Mick’s very shrewd, he’s been there and done it, and he’s a football man through and through.”

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McCarthy took charge of a Town side depleted of confidence and rooted to the bottom of the Championship in November 2012, but comfortably steered the Blues to safety with a hard-to-beat, no-nonsense attitude.

Fast-forward 16 months, and Town sit just short of the play-off zone as things stand, with the progression there for all to see.

And although Pennock admits that promotion and a play-off finish might be a step too far for Ipswich this year, he is confident of one sooner rather than later.

“If Marcus can back him up with a bit of time and money then I have no doubt Mick will be the man to lead Ipswich to the Premier League,” added Pennock.

“I completely understand why Marcus has been so cautious with his money after what’s happened in the past.

“The previous managers didn’t work out, but Mick’s done phenomenally well since he’s been to the club, just imagine where we would be if he did have money to play with?”

Being part of Tony Pulis’s first-team coaching set-up at Stoke for six seasons, Pennock has come across McCarthy and Connor on several occasions on the touchline, mainly while the duo were in charge of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

“I don’t have a bad word to say about Mick or Terry,” added Pennock.

“They’re great and are real gentlemen of the game, they always have a drink and bite to eat after games and they’re winners.”

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