Stuart Watson’s verdict: Stop picking at the scab Mick, it’s time to let old wounds heal

Jonas Knudsen taking on Luke Chambers fist pumps in his absence, after the Ipswich Town v Brentford

Jonas Knudsen taking on Luke Chambers fist pumps in his absence, after the Ipswich Town v Brentford clash. Picture: STEVE WALLER www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

It’s time to draw a permanent line under last season.

We all know that 2016/17 was an annus horribilis in the history of Ipswich Town, but that was then and this is now. That’s the beauty of sport. There’s always a chance for new beginnings.

Saturday’s 2-0 home win against Brentford continued a wholly unexpected, but joyously received perfect start. Five straight victories at the start of a season hasn’t been done since the promotion campaign of 1999/00. It’s the first time since 1974/75 that maximum points have been taken from the first four league games.

• Mick McCarthy: Chants show how fickle football is

OK, so Town have ridden their luck at times, but it would be churlish to focus too much on that or overly worry about the tougher tests ahead.

The Blues have shown incredible character to burst out the blocks given; a) the pessimism surrounding the club before a ball was kicked, and b) the lengthy injury list so unheard of by mid-August.


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Are Ipswich, one of the bookies’ pre-season favourites for the drop, now suddenly promotion contenders? Realistically no. But so many of the things on our modest wish-list are already coming to fruition though.

Mick McCarthy is selecting attack-minded sides, the summer signings have added dynamism, home grown talent is getting game time and the entertainment value has improved no end.

•Stuart says: Six observations from Town’s win against Brentford

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New boys Joe Garner and Martyn Waghorn already have seven goals between them. Town, joint top of the table with Neil Warnock’s rejuvenated Cardiff, are the divisions’ top-scorers with nine. It took them until October 18 to reach that tally last year.

Yes, humble pie has never tasted so good. McCarthy had to eat a large slice of it and change his cautious ways heading into his sixth season as Blues boss. Fans who doubted he could get things back on track are enjoying their sizeable portion too.

Each hearty cheer which greeted the three celebratory pumps of Jonas ‘Mad Dog’ Knudsen’s fist towards the North Stand following Saturday’s win should have blown away the last lingering dark clouds from a year to forget.

Fans showed they are willing to forgive and forget by chanting McCarthy’s name with gusto again. Mick said he treats that praise with the same ‘contempt’ as he did the boos and highlighted how ‘fickle’ football is.

He’s right, of course. But if you keep picking at a scab it leaves a scar. It’s time to let old wounds heal.

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