Monday verdict: Of course you’re going to be judged Mick – now stop the snarky comments and keep proving people wrong
“I never felt more like singing the Blues, when Ipswich win and Norwich lose...”
How good it felt for Town fans to sing that at Hillsborough on Saturday following a 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday and the Canaries’ 3-2 home defeat to Leeds.
It was the first time this season those words could be belted out. All of a sudden, only six points separate the East Anglian rivals in a typically congested Championship table.
The experienced Mick McCarthy, who has been there, done it and got the t-shirt, seems more fired up than ever before, following recent criticism. Alex Neil, 22 years his junior, is showing signs of feeling the pressure as his multi-million pound outfit falter.
City have now lost three league games on the bounce. To put that in perspective, that’s happened to Ipswich just once during McCarthy’s four years in charge.
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It adds weight to the ‘be careful what you wish for’ argument that is offered as a counter to those who have decided McCarthy is not the man to take Ipswich forwards.
You get the sense that a section of Town fans were actually disappointed when David McGoldrick scored a last-gasp equaliser against Rotherham. Those same people have disingenuously suggested Saturday’s impressive away day display ‘papered over the cracks’. This was no smash and grab.
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Freddie Sears is back up front in a 4-4-2 system, creative sparks McGoldrick and Jonny Williams are fit again, Teddy Bishop is being selected over Jonathan Douglas in midfield, Tom Lawrence scored a sensational solo goal, while Luke Chambers’ late headed winner and the joyous team celebrations which followed was another reminder of the priceless spirit and togetherness in the camp. Is everything in the garden rosy? No. The boos and derogatory chants about McCarthy’s style of football at Portman Road little more than a week ago were not, as the Yorkshireman says, an ‘excessive’ reaction to one game. It was the pressure valve being released following 10 months of turgid non-entertainment.
“If you want to judge me then crack on,” snapped the Blues boss, clearly feeling his achievements have been too quickly forgotten as soon have things have got tough.
Of course you’re going to be judged Mick. You’re only as good as your last few games. That’s the nature of the industry.
One victory doesn’t wipe away an underwhelming calender year, but McCarthy is right when he says that if you took an average performance from his 202 games in charge then it would look more like Saturday’s game than some of the borefests of 2016.
The judgement will continue though Mick. Just stop the snarky comments and carry on proving the doubters wrong. We’d all love nothing more.
– See today’s EADT and Ipswich Star for ‘five key points’ following Saturday’s game, from McCarthy’s tactics and Teddy Bishop’s form to refereeing decisions and Town’s nice November run.