Ipswich Town Hall of Fame star Bryan Hamilton says Mick McCarthy has worked wonders at Portman Road

Brian Hamilton

Brian Hamilton

Ipswich Town legend Bryan Hamilton believes the Blues have over-achieved this season, with a top-six finish still a slim possibility.

Ninth-placed Town face a daunting trip to Sussex on Saturday to take on the team immediately above them in the league, Brighton & Hove Albion.

A victory for the Blues and defeats for Nottingham Forest and Reading at Derby County and Birmingham respectively could see Ipswich reduce the gap between themselves and the play-off zone to three points, with nine games left to play

The task won’t be easy against a Seagulls side that have kept the most clean sheets in the league (17) and have only failed to score once at home in the Championship this season.

However, McCarthy has proved to be an expert at grinding out results since his tenure started at Portman Road and it is that ability that has left Hamilton, who was inducted into the Ipswich Town Hall of Fame on Friday, singing his praises.

“Mick McCarthy has done as good a job as possible,” said the former Blues star, who scored 43 goals in 153 games for Ipswich.

“I look at the team and they are very well organised and disciplined and all work hard for one another.

“He has been limited in what he can do at the club and I said at the start of the season, reflecting on last year, that they would probably finish between eighth and 12th.

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“The way they started the season though, a finish in between sixth and 10th may have been considered and that’s roughly where they are likely to finish. The players have done their very best.”

Meanwhile Hamiton revealed he was delighted to have been inducted into the Town Hall of Fame, along with Matt Holland, Clive Woods, Paul Cooper and the late John Lyall, joining an illustrious list featuring names such as Ted Phillips, Ray Crawford, Kevin Beattie, Geroge Burley and Mick Mills.

“If you look at the players that are already on that list, then I think it’s unbelievable, and I am delighted,” said former Northern Ireland manager Hamilton, who also spent time as a coach at Portman Road.

“If you were to put that list of players on the open market today I don’t know what they would be worth or what kind of team they would be, but it’s a very special group.

“I feel privileged to have been inducted, especially alongside Matt Holland who I coached at Ipswich and who I am delighted to have an association with.”

See today’s Ipswich Star and East Anglian Daily Times for interviews with Hamiton, Matt Holland, Clive Woods and Paul Cooper.

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