Ipswich Town defender laughs off minority’s calls for change of manager

Tommy Smith clashes with Michael Dawson in the penalty area at Hull

Tommy Smith clashes with Michael Dawson in the penalty area at Hull

Ipswich Town defender Tommy Smith has laughed off calls from a minority of Blues fans who have said manager Mick McCarthy should be sacked.

Town head into tonight’s Championship clash with Bolton Wanderers at Portman Road having won just once in 10 games, and host a side who have just a solitary league win to their name all season.

The Blues have scored just once in their last five games but have improved at the back in recent weeks, and will want to avoid a third straight goalless draw at home to the Trotters this evening.

Victory against third-bottom side Bolton and at basement team Rotherham on Saturday would put Town, currently six points off the play-offs, in a healthier state and Smith is remaining optimistic that McCarthy, who has worked wonders in his three years at the club, can lead Town away from their temporary malaise.

Asked about calls for the manager’s head, Smith said: “You see so many clubs doing that, but we have got a good owner and, let’s not be funny, we have got one of the best managers in the league with a proven track record. You can’t judge him over 14 games.”

Town were bottom, in woeful form and on a run of 12 games without a win when McCarthy took over in November 2012, but the former Sunderland boss quickly transformed the Blues’ fortunes.

“We were almost doomed when he came in, we had been written off by a lot of people and the gaffer came in and turned it around,” he recalled.

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“I think expectancy is much higher this season but I am sure he (McCarthy) will turn it around.

“The season before the gaffer came in was one of the worst the club has had for a long time, but he came in and has been successful and we want to do that again.”

Tonight, Smith is likely to start alongside Christophe Berra, who looked back to his best at the weekend, following a shaky period earlier in the campaign.

However, it wasn’t just Berra that suffered a drop in form and Smith has attributed McCarthy’s man-management for Town’s improved solidity over recent games, something that was alarming in its absence in defeats at Blackburn (2-0) and Hull (3-0).

“Back in that run the gaffer had us all in as individuals and as a group, and told us, ‘I want you guys to be playing in my team, but if it carries on I will be making changes.’

“No-one is bigger than the club or team and that is what makes us successful.

“We have got a good opportunity ahead to win six points, but we must focus on the Bolton game first.”

Get involved in the discussion and have your say ahead of Ipswich Town v Bolton, with Match Centre

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