Monday verdict: What’s the plan? Ipswich Town fans need some explanations

Luke Freeman is mobbed after scoring Bristol City's second against Ipswich

Luke Freeman is mobbed after scoring Bristol City's second against Ipswich

Just what is the plan? Ipswich Town fans deserve some clarity because it’s impossible to work out what the club’s short, medium and long-term ambitions are right now.

Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Bristol City saw a continuation of the one step forwards, one step back slow and steady stagnation of 2016.

It was another very average performance from a very average Championship team.

The Blues have no divine right to be winning every week, no divine right to be at the top end of the Championship – of course they don’t.

Supporters are right to demand more though because there seems to be a worrying acceptance of mediocrity – from top to bottom.


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Owner Marcus Evans tightening the purse strings made sense for a while, but sticking rigidly to a risk-averse approach seems crazy. He’s selling the club’s best players, not reinvesting in transfer fees and still losing money every year. Hoping that Mick McCarthy can somehow mastermind a glorious underdog promotion is akin to waiting for a lottery win.

And there’s no clear masterplan from Mick McCarthy. Whenever he’s tried to get the team to play more expansive, entertaining football it’s only ever required one set-back to slam the brakes on and return to a pragmatic set-up.

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The lack of ambition and purpose filters down. Blues defender Christophe Berra said recently, with an air of resignation, that “We’re Ipswich Town, we’re not world beaters, we’ve got to realise that”. Inspiring stuff.

It’s easier to stomach the inevitable bad days at the office when you can see evidence of work in progress towards a bigger picture.

Ipswich can’t compete with the financial clout of those flush with parachute payments in this division – fair enough. The plan is to buy young, limit loan deals and bring through players from the academy – good. We might not win as many games, but we’ll try and evolve the style of play and entertain you more in a transitional campaign – great.

Everyone would have bought into that. No-one has said that though.

Evans’ silence gives an impression that the club is happy simply treading water. Meanwhile, it’s McCarthy’s words as much as his actions that frustrate. How can he say the recent performance against Nottingham Forest wasn’t that bad? How can he say he was pleased with Saturday’s powderpuff performance?

Sensible, intelligent fans feel like they are being treated like idiots. It simply doesn’t wash.

If I’m wrong, let’s hear from you Mr Evans. If you feel your hands are tied then says so Mr McCarthy.

Ignore and dismiss the fans at your peril.

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