Pre-season results count for nothing – as the Class of ‘92 recall

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy can't hide his frustration during the pre-season defeat to Royale

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy can't hide his frustration during the pre-season defeat to Royale Union Saint-Gilloise. Picture: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

A poor pre-season isn’t necessarily a sign of what’s to come – just ask Ipswich Town’s Class of ‘92.

The Blues head into Saturday’s Championship opener against Barnsley, at Portman Road, off the back of an underwhelming friendly schedule against lower level opposition.

Mick McCarthy’s men lost to Barnet and Belgian second-tier side Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, while they also drew against Cambridge United and Charlton.

Back in the summer of 1991 it was a similar story. John Lyall’s team lost twice during a tour of Finland and were then thrashed 3-0 by Scunthorpe in their final warm-up match. They subsequently went on to win the Second Division title and return to the top-flight after a six-year absence.

“We got absolutely battered!” recalls midfielder Simon Milton. “I remember the manager having a real clear-the-air, heart-to-heart meeting just before the season started and that was probably the kick up the backside we needed. I’m sure the current players have had a couple of those in the last few weeks and that their blood will be pumping come Saturday.”


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Jason Dozzell said: “We lost virtually every game that pre-season and it created such a negative arena for the first home game. I think only about 10,000 turned up and it took us until Christmas to win people back.

“Friendly games give you false results. It’s when the real stuff starts that it matters.”

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