North Stander: Credit to Mick on Ipswich Town’s start, but will he hold his nerve?

Joe Garner faces off with Angus MacDonald in a battle which continued throughout the second half at

Joe Garner faces off with Angus MacDonald in a battle which continued throughout the second half at Barnsley. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Credit where credit is due. A lot of brickbats were hurled at Mick McCarthy during last season’s trials and tribulations, so now it’s only fair to congratulate him after a storming start to the new campaign.

I know these are ridiculously early days, but I can’t stop myself having a little peek at the Championship table and smiling in an almost childlike way. Two league games, two wins, maximum points - and a League Cup victory thrown in. It doesn’t get any better!

Is it me, or is Mick doing it differently this time round? Let’s look at Saturday as an example.

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Not a great first half, definitely second best, and Bart “the octopus” kept us in it. Last year, I’m convinced McCarthy would have stuck to his tactical guns until at least the 60 minute mark.

But on Saturday, he threw on two attacking options in McGoldrick and “Waggy” at the break. So we played the second half with four strikers on the park - the two subs, plus starters Sears and Garner.

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That’s not the kind of out-and-out attacking style that Mick’s famed for, but good on him for doing it. Plus, of course, it paid off handsomely.

Mick will be smiling wryly, I’m sure, knowing full well what the reaction of the fans would have been if his decisions had blown up in his face and we’d lost 3-0. But we didn’t, so good on you, Mick.

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My question is this: will the manager hold his nerve if, to use one of his favourite phrases, we “get slapped” with an attacking line-up?

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Remember what happened at Reading a couple of years ago? We were wide open, got thumped, and Mick immediately went back to a safety-first approach. We will wait and see - hopefully we’ll never “get slapped.”

The very best thing among all the positives at the moment is that the strikers are scoring goals. It’s great to see McGoldrick on the scoresheet so early in the season. A fit and firing “Didzy” for the whole of the campaign would make such a difference.

The new boys from Rangers look good, too. We just need Freddie to open his account and everything in the garden truly will be rosy.

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I say that, but it’s not quite the case. The injuries really are starting to pile up. As I write, we don’t know what’s up with Flynn Downes, but it doesn’t look very promising.

Apart from that – happy days!

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