It’s time to build on a solid platform, says Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy - Credit: Archant

Mick McCarthy today reflects on his first year at Ipswich Town with satisfaction but insists now is the time to push on to the next level.

The Blues – consistent on the pitch and far more stable off it – host struggling Barnsley at Portman Road tonight knowing victory could lift them to within touching distance of the play-offs.

It’s certainly a far healthier position than one year ago today when McCarthy arrived at a club that was rock-bottom of the table, carrying a bloated wage bill and a heavy reliance on loan players.

“The first part of the job was to keep the club in the Championship and we were successful with that,” said McCarthy. “That was a big success for everyone that was involved – not just me, but TC (assistant manager Terry Connor), the players, everybody.

“You have to say that, from November first last year, we’ve made real progress, but I’m still not happy because I think we should be even better off.

“We’ve done alright, but we could be better off this season. And I’m not happy with that.”

The Blues finished last season in promotion form, with McCarthy doing little to play down talk of a promotion push ahead of the big kick-off.

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A respectable return of 16 points from the opening 13 games sees the club in mid-table, with some difficult fixtures out the way and the general consensus being that the points tally doesn’t do justice to some consistently good displays.

“The performances that we’ve put in have been as good as anyone I think,” said McCarthy. “You can talk as much as you like about playing well though because you’ve got to win.

“If we can continue to play like we have, and we don’t get too many injuries and suspensions, then we will be okay. I don’t know where it will get us, but we’ll certainly be okay.

“We have now got a good base and platform from which to push on. We’ve got a solid group of lads who all enjoy playing for the club, they give everything for the club, there’s a good spirit and a good camaraderie.

“This is just a platform on which to build.”

– See today’s EADT and Ipswich Star for full match preview. Follow @Stuart_Watson on Twitter for live match updates.