Is there really ‘no such thing as a bad away point’?

Ipswich Town

Ipswich Town - Credit: Archant

Mick McCarthy’s mantra of ‘there’s no such thing as a bad away point’ has come under the microscope following back-to-back away draws against Derby and Sheffield Wedensday.

The Blues boss rightly points to the fact that winning at home and drawing away is a great formula for success. An average points return of two per game would have been good enough to win the Championship title in each of the last four seasons.

So with four out of five games won at home so far, it does seem a little churlish to bemoan the recent stalemates at Pride Park and Hillsborough.

Portman Road has certainly become something of the proverbial ‘fortress’ under McCarthy’s management with 14 wins, three draws and four defeats achieved.

History shows that you do need to pick up a handful of away wins to make up for the inevitable odd slip-up at home though.

Town fans will remember the 2007/08 campaign under Jim Magilton’s management as a prime example of that. At Portman Road the Blues won 15, drew seven and lost just once, yet they ended up finishing eighth – a point adrift of the play-off places – thanks to an away record which included just three wins, eight draws and 12 defeats.

Already, there is feeling of deja vu as the Blues continually fail to go for the kill on their travels.

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The stats do not make for great reading. There has been just one win away from home in 18 games this calendar year – a smash-and-grab win at Derby back in April. Incredibly, Carlos Edwards’ last-minute winner that day is the only second-half goal that’s been scored in 2013.

Seven times the lead has been taken away from home in 20133 only to be relinquished.

Perhaps McCarthy has become a victim of his own success. The fact that there is a slight feeling of disappointment following two away draws is an indication of just how much things have improved.

Last week presented a prime opportunity for at least one away win though, Town having led 4-1 against a Derby side still reeling from the sacking of Nigel Clough and then 1-0 up against a winless Sheffield Wednesday side who looked nervy in front of an expectant home crowd.

Time will tell whether they were important away points or missed opportunities.

– What do you think? Post your comments below.

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