MATCH PREVIEW: Why a point is unlikely to please Ipswich Town fans

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy - Credit: Archant

Mick McCarthy once said there was “no such thing as a bad point”.

Barry Ferguson

Barry Ferguson

However, even he may be stretched to defend that line should Ipswich Town fail to pick up three points in their race for the play-offs tomorrow.

Standing in their way are beleaguered Blackpool, who visit Suffolk with just one league and cup victory from their previous 17 games, and only three wins in 25.

New caretaker boss Barry Ferguson, once a target of former Ipswich boss, the late John Lyall, when he was a talented teenager, has steadied the ship a little, taking two points from his first four games and wasted little time putting his stamp on the team.

Having lost star turn Thomas Ince, the winger joining Crystal Palace on loan last month, the rookie boss has brought in eight new faces including Blackburn striker David Goodwillie, Palace forward Stephen Dobbie and Millwall goalscorer Andy Keogh on loan.

So many new faces and a player-manager who does not know his long-term fate in the hotseat suggests that now is the ideal time for the Blues – who could hand a full debut to new loan signing Paul Green – to take on the north-west strugglers.

However, the Tangerines have added a much-needed resolve to their game in recent weeks.

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Keogh salvaged a draw last Saturday, netting a late equaliser against Nottingham Forest at Bloomfield Road, in a good team performance, and the overriding feeling is that the new signings have brought fresh optimism to the club.

And let’s remember that Blackpool, under Paul Ince, topped the table in the early weeks of the season and looked outsiders for promotion.

Then their season imploded. Three players were sent off in the 1-0 defeat at Yeovil, before two more were dismissed in the 5-1 defeat at Derby.

By this point, the slump had really set in and Kirk Broadfoot’s second dismissal in a month, during the 1-1 home draw with Leeds, Blackpool’s sixth in five matches really set alarm bells ringing. Victory has remained elusive since that sorry day at Huish Park on December 3.

Ipswich’s season hasn’t been nearly as dramatic, but most fans will take that after McCarthy’s relegation rescue act last season.

Yes, they have been slightly inconsistent, but have never come close to going on such a dismal run and their current position, just outside the top-six is testament to this.

At times spectacular, but mainly solid and effective, don’t be surprised if Town, who left it late to win 3-2 at Blackpool in November, fail to run riot tomorrow.

However, a home win will be expected by Town’s newly-optimistic supporters, especially with talk of the play-offs on people’s lips, and few will agree with McCarthy’s sentiments should honours end even.

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