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Former Blues boss McCarthy back at Portman Road to watch spirited draw with Derby

PUBLISHED: 21:46 13 February 2019 | UPDATED: 09:38 14 February 2019

the Ipswich Town v Derby County (Sky Bet Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 13 February 2019.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

the Ipswich Town v Derby County (Sky Bet Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 13 February 2019. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Mick McCarthy was back at Portman Road this evening to watch Ipswich Town take on Derby County.

Former Town manager Mick McCarthy sitting next to a concerned looking Lee O'Neil, during the Ipswich Town v Derby County game.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMFormer Town manager Mick McCarthy sitting next to a concerned looking Lee O'Neil, during the Ipswich Town v Derby County game. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

The former Blues boss, who left the club last April after nearly six years in charge of the club, was sat alongside general manager of football operations Lee O’Neill, in the box usually occupied by owner Marcus Evans.

McCarthy is now in charge of the Republic of Ireland for a second spell, taking on the role until after Euro 2020 before handing over to Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny.

This was McCarthy’s first return to Portman Road since dramatically leaving his post following a 1-0 victory over Barnsley, having already agreed to depart at the end of the 2017/18 season.

MORE: Stu says: Five observations following Ipswich Town’s 1-1 home draw with Derby County

Mick McCarthy left Ipswich Town in April after nearly six years in charge . Picture: STEVE WALLERMick McCarthy left Ipswich Town in April after nearly six years in charge . Picture: STEVE WALLER

He will have been keeping a firm eye on the performance of Ipswich playmaker and Ireland international Alan Judge, who he tried to bring to Portman Road on two occasions, while striker Will Keane is said to be contemplating a change of international allegiance having previously represented England at youth levels.

With Ipswich now managed by Paul Lambert, after Paul Hurst was sacked after just 15 games as McCarthy’s replacement, the Blues team which faced the Rams is unrecognisable from the one that lined up for McCarthy’s last game.

MORE: ‘I’m proud of them. I’m proud of the supporters. We’re well in the fight’ – Lambert on home draw with Derby

Of the Ipswich starting XI in that game, only three were in the squad for this evening’s game – Bartosz Bialkowski, Jonas Knudsen and Myles Kenlock.

Former Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy (right) has been appointed as the new Republic of Ireland boss, with Stephen Kenny (left) to replace him after Euro 2020. Photo: FAIFormer Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy (right) has been appointed as the new Republic of Ireland boss, with Stephen Kenny (left) to replace him after Euro 2020. Photo: FAI

Martyn Waghorn, sold in the summer, was in the Derby side in a game which ultimately ended 1-1.

Also in attendance this evening were Nottingham Forest boss Martin O’Neill, Millwall manager Neil Harris and Brighton’s Chris Hughton.

John McGreal, now in charge of Colchester, was also at tonight’s game.

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