'We've got to put pressure on people to raise the standards,' says Town legend Mills
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com
Ipswich Town legend Mick Mills says everybody at the club should be feeling the pressure following yesterday's 1-0 home loss to Peterborough United.
Mills, speaking in his usual role for BBC Radio Suffolk, sympathised with some fans passionately calling for manager Paul Lambert to be sacked during the post-match phone-in.
“I just think that we’ve not been winning games for such a long period now. It’s not been good enough,” he said, the Blues having slipped to ninth in the League One table after claiming just 19 points from their last 15 games.
“We’ve been slowly sort of edging away from a position that we really should be in.
“We had that fabulous start to the season and we should have gone on from there.
“The performances are still a bit edgy, they lack fluency. Every area of the pitch that you try to analyse we haven’t quite got it right.
“The back four is not A1. We’re losing a little bit from the full-back positions that we had early in the season. I don’t think Luke Chambers and Stephen Ward are coming onto the game as much as they did. I don’t know whether that’s because they are losing a bit of confidence in the centre-half pairings that we continue to change. We don’t seem to have a real solid pairing.
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“We saw the three together in the centre of midfield – Dozzell, Bishop and Downes – coming together today. Again, they are not quite producing. None of the three were absolutely, as individuals, on top of their games. Consequently, collectively, they weren’t as good as you’d want them to be.
“Then you’ve got the three attacking players and you’ve got to say they were only ‘okay’. And we can’t keep going on and on and on saying ‘it was okay today, it wasn’t bad’. It’s got to be good.
“I know injuries haven’t been helping matters much, but we’re still, for me, miles away from having a really fluent team. We’re bits and pieces really.”
The former England captain continued: “Everybody has got a right to give their opinion. You’ve got to watch it and then make your assessment.
“I see nothing wrong with people coming on. If they’ve watched the game and they haven’t seen what they want to see, don’t come on and say ‘let’s give the manager time after time after time’.
“If they don’t like what they see then they’ve got to say that. A little bit of pressure doesn’t go a miss you know. I don’t think you’ve got to give people an easy ride whatsoever.
“That’s inclusive of everybody concerned at the club. Don’t give the players an easy ride. Don’t give the manager an easy ride. Don’t give the coaches an easy ride. And don’t give the owner an easy ride.
“Because it’s not an easy ozey game. This is serious stuff. This is professional football. This club is supported by a vast number of people that really care about it.
“I’ve nothing against people coming on and being annoyed. They’ve got every right, because this is truly dragging its feet now.
“I even made a comment early in the game that what pleased me was that we weren’t looking the inferior side from the start of the game like we are on many occasions.
“I mean that’s such a little thing to expect. When you play at home, when that first whistle blows you should look to pin the opposition back in their own half and really say to them ‘right, you’ve made the long journey down here and I’m going to make you feel uncomfortable for the next 90 minutes’. Have that sort of attitude and determination and feeling going through your body.
“But here we were today saying ‘I like this opening spell because we’re not actually the inferior side’. The standards have dropped too much and we’ve got to put pressure on people to raise the standards.
“Because if you don’t put pressure on people it will just drag and drag along. Everybody subconsciously will think ‘oh, everybody is quite happy with what has happened’. People are not happy.
“We need to get out of this division. We need to be better than Peterborough. We need to be better than Lincoln City.
“These are teams that we’d left behind by an absolute mile years ago, but now they are our equal. So we’ve got to get this show on the road, we really have.
“The game lacked life. Okay, we weren’t behind Peterborough, but we mustn’t judge ourselves by the opposition all the time. We’ve got to judge out own game. What do you expect from your own team?
“If Peterborough were going to come here and play to the standard they did, we should be above that. It should be ‘thank goodness we’ve met you on a bad day, right we’re going to make you suffer’. Not just run along with it and be as good as them.
“We’ve got to be better than them. It’s just dragging along too much for me. It really is.”
Town’s former UEFA Cup and FA Cup winner added: “There is a lot of time left, there are a lot of points to play for. No-one has really motored on.
“If only it could be ignited we could really get ourselves into a good position. But we’ve got to do it.
“Those two who have come in this week (Josh Harrop and Luke Thomas), let’s not start hanging our hats on those two lads. It’s totally unfair.
“They are two lads who have been available because they haven’t quite done the business at the clubs that own them, so they’re not coming here in absolutely perfect condition.
“We shouldn't be relying on people coming in this month to reignite the season.”