Shock sackings show why Ipswich Town are lucky to have Marcus Evans – and Mick McCarthy
HE might have failed to secure Premier League football during his first five years at Ipswich Town.
But the events of the last 48 hours should make every Town fan relieved that their club is not headed by an owner who thinks nothing of wielding the axe.
The shock dismissals of Sean O’Driscoll at eighth-placed Nottingham Forest, just hours after beating Leeds 4-2, and then the sacking of Henning Berg at Blackburn Rovers after just 57 days in charge has highlighted the cut-throat nature in some quarters of the Championship.
Then there is Marcus Evans. He might shy away from being the public face at Portman Road, but the owner has ploughed in millions over the last five, fruitless years.
More importantly, he has displayed a rare commodity in modern football – patience.
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He kept faith in both Roy Keane and Paul Jewell longer than most supporters and, with Jewell in particular, the decision to part company by way of mutual consent was a particularly painful one.
It is something that has impressed Mick McCarthy and convinced him last month to take over at what was then the Championship’s worst club when the former Wolves boss was clearly eyeing a Premier League position.
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Speaking when he took the job, McCarthy said: “Marcus Evans has backed every manager he has worked with. If he sees it is being run in the right way, he will give me an opportunity to progress.”
With Alex McLeish and Keane linked with the Forest job and Mark Hughes among the frontrunners at former club Blackburn, the quality of managers in the Championship is set to get even stronger.
But in McCarthy, Ipswich have been fortunate to get the right experienced man at the right time.
Supporters should be careful what they wish.
Tomorrow, at shortly before 3pm, McCarthy will stride out of the Molineux tunnel and return to Wolves for the first time since February.
His side might have been slipping towards Premier League relegation, but McCarthy was one of the club’s most successful managers of all time – one source yesterday told the Star it was the most exciting time at Molineux for three decades.
With current boss Stale Solbakken another manager under-pressure, how many Wolves’ fans would wish they still had McCarthy and assistant manager Terry Connor in the home dugout?
Their loss looks likely to be Town’s gain.