Ipswich Town fans fear Mick McCarthy won’t stick to Marcus Evans’ five-point plan

Town manager Mick McCarthy

Town manager Mick McCarthy - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans has unveiled his five-point plan for success – but will manager Mick McCarthy adhere to it in 2017?

Blues fans appear unconvinced judging by the results of an online poll run yesterday in which more than 1,000 votes were cast.

Following a forgettable 2016, and amid fears the Championship’s longest-serving club was simply treading water, owner Evans penned a 2,000-word programme article in which he outlined his long-term strategy ahead of the festive home fixture against Bristol City. Investing in the academy to enable a steady flow of homegrown players into the first-team and spending sensible transfer fees on players at the early stages of their career was at the heart of the plan.

Evans also spoke about providing a sustainable and competitive squad salary budget to both attract and keep hold of players, while he also stressed the importance of ‘maintaining a stable management and coaching team’ and developing a team ‘to play attractive and exciting football’.

McCarthy signed 21-year-old duo Adam Webster and Grant Ward last summer and both look shrewd bits of business. During his four years in charge, the Yorkshireman has handed eight youth team players their first-team debuts. Take Teddy Bishop out of the equation and the other seven have 24 starts and 13 substitute appearances for the Blues between them.

McCarthy has made some bolder team selections around the turn of the year and has started homegrown trio Josh Emmanuel, Myles Kenlock and Andre Dozzell.

The entertainment value has improved of late and there were plenty of signs that the Blues boss’ cautious approach is changing in the 3-2 win at Wigan, 2-1 home win over Bristol City and Monday’s 2-1 defeat at QPR.

However, Emmanuel was substituted at half-time at Loftus Road, while Dozzell remained an unused sub after 35-year-old Jonathan Douglas replaced Kevin Bru.