The verdict: Ipswich Town fans have been patronised and derided unfairly – they’re not asking for too much

Tom Lawrence has been red hot for Ipswich. Photo: STEVE WALLER

Tom Lawrence has been red hot for Ipswich. Photo: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

That really wasn’t too much to ask for.

Ipswich Town may have twice been pegged back in yesterday’s 2-2 home draw with Reading, but they left the field to rapturous applause thanks to a ballsy performance full of attacking intent, vim and vigour.

Blues fans have been derided by outsiders and pundits for carrying delusions of grandeur when daring to voice their discontent during the stagnation of the past 12 to 18 months.

“What do you actually expect?” they’ve said, patronisingly. “Mick McCarthy’s had no money to spend. Do you think you have some sort of divine right to be challenging for promotion?”

No, actually. A bit of entertainment value and hope for the future would be nice though. Only those who have sat through non-event after non-event fully understand.

When Mick McCarthy and his players bemoan how ‘unpleasant’ some of the ‘abuse’ they’ve received it’s hard to feel too much sympathy.

Town fans are some of the most patient and docile in the land. Negativity has only just reached simmering point after plenty of time on low heat. This is not the pressure cooker of Newcastle, Leeds or Aston Villa.

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McCarthy – a man who has been in the goldfish bowl environments of Celtic, Millwall, Sunderland, Ireland and Wolves – has dealt with far worse from both the stands and the media. He needs to remember that.

Let Town supporters down and they will quietly walk away. Give them something to get behind and, as they have proven time-and-time again, they will respond.

Two-goal Tom Lawrence was once again the star of the show on Saturday (and is worth the entrance price alone at present), while new signings Stephen Taylor, Toumani Diagouraga and Emyr Huws all made a big impact. Crucially, it appeared the tactical shackles had been removed.

Keep giving the players more freedom to express themselves and maybe, just maybe, the quick-witted and straight-talking McCarthy could win back the hearts and minds of an increasingly disenchanted fan-base.

It’s owner Marcus Evans that should bare the brunt of the criticism surrounding the club’s Groundhog Day situation. McCarthy’s words and actions have kept distracting from that.

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