Mick McCarthy needs time to get Ipswich Town through transitional period, says Darren Ambrose

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Former Ipswich Town star Darren Ambrose is confident that his beloved Blues will come good under manager Mick McCarthy following a ‘transitional period’.

Darren Ambrose signed a short-term deal under Mick McCarthy's management in 2015.

Darren Ambrose signed a short-term deal under Mick McCarthy's management in 2015. - Credit: Su Anderson

The 32-year-old midfielder came through the Town academy ranks and, after playing for Newcastle, Charlton, Crystal Palace and Birmingham, returned to Portman Road on a short-term deal in 2014/15 under McCarthy’s management.

“It’s a difficult time for him, of course it is,” said Ambrose, Ipswich’s inconsistent start to the campaign seeing them occupy 16th spot in the Championship table ahead of Saturday’s visit of Cardiff.

“I think he is overseeing a bit of a transitional period though.

“That’s easy to say, I know, but he’s had a lot of loans, a lot of older players in the first few years and now he’s decided to go his own way and try to build something.

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock - Credit: PA


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“I know, from social media, that people are on his back, but if it was me I would stick with him still.

“I think he’s shown over many years that he can deal with these situations. I think it will come good – whether that’s this year, next year or the year after.”

Ambrose, who was released by Colchester United last summer and is now the co-owner of ‘Mr Barbers’ in Duke Street, Ipswich, continued: “I appreciate this is a frustrating period for the supporters though.

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“I read that Ipswich are the longest serving team in the Championship (15 successive seasons). That is frustrating, I understand that, but Mick was great for me and I haven’t got a bad word to say about him.”

Cardiff visit Portman Road sitting in the relegation zone but with renewed hope following the recent appointment of experienced boss Neil Warnock. The Welsh club have won three and drawn two of his eight games in charge.

“I probably played my best football under Neil Warnock,” said Ambrose, referring to the 2009/10 season when Palace escaped Championship relegation, despite a 10-point deduction for going into administration.

“He gave me that freedom to enjoy my football again after a difficult year at Charlton.

“I remember one game, when I was playing left wing, the opposition right-back bombed forward and I obviously tracked him all the way back. Neil was screaming at me and I’m thinking ‘what’s the matter?’ and he’s shouting ‘I don’t want to see you out of their half, you’re not to track back’.

“I was like ‘wow’, it was just a unique experience. That season I scored 20 goals. I think that was the first time in Palace’s history that a midfielder did that.”

Ambrose added: “Neil’s retired so many times! He keeps coming back because he loves football so much. He’s an old-school character – some people like him, some people don’t, but I think he’s brilliant.”

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