Man-management and motivational skills need to top the list of qualities in the next Ipswich Town manager

MAN-MANAGEMENT and motivational skills have to top the list of qualities for the next Ipswich Town manager, with the new man set to face the toughest of jobs.

The Blues are now five points adrift of Championship safety with a goal difference 10 worse than any other team in the division following Saturday’s woeful 3-0 home loss to fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday.

Out-fought and out-thought by a team that started the day without a victory in 10 matches, confidence-shot Town look like a side beaten before a ball is kicked at present.

The long-suffering Portman Road faithful are usually a placid bunch, but the atmosphere has now turned poisonous following 10 successive home league games without victory – the worst run of its kind in the club’s history.

Caretaker boss Chris Hutchings admitted that fans had a case for chanting ‘you’re not fit to wear the shirt’ as he called upon the club’s ‘well paid’ senior players to take a look in the mirror.

Shockingly, he added that a new manager will need to replace several players – despite the fact that recently departed boss Paul Jewell brought in eight signings within the last two months of his disastrous 21-month regime.

With five loanees set to return to their parent clubs over the next three months and 10 players in the final year of their contracts, a complete re-build is required.

Most Read

Time is not a luxury that the next boss can afford though, with instant results needed from this current crop of players before the situation becomes irreversible.

Forget the rare success stories, relegation to the third tier of English football for the first time in more than half a century must be avoided at all costs.

Having failed with the iron fist approach of Roy Keane and then seen Jewell labelled as ‘too nice’ by skipper Carlos Edwards recently, it’s crucial that Blues owner Marcus Evans and chief executive Simon Clegg identify the right qualities in their next appointment – and quickly.

Out-of-work quartet Mick McCarthy, George Burley, Alan Curbishley and Gary Megson are now the short odds favourites, while Blackpool boss Ian Holloway reportedly has a �500,000 buy-out clause in his contract.

One thing’s for sure – whoever takes on the task at Portman Road will be a brave man.