The Verdict: Marcus Evans and Mick McCarthy sizing each other up ahead of a crucial summer for Ipswich Town
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
From wildly inconsistent to a pools player’s dream – it’s hard to know how to feel about Ipswich Town right now.
At the low-point of January 31, after a 3-0 home loss to Derby, a six-game unbeaten run seemed inconceivable.
That’s exactly what the Blues have managed though following a 1-1 home draw with Brentford.
Five of those six matches have ended in stalemates. The last four games have all finished one apiece. Town have led on every occasion. Some games they’ve deserved to win, others they’ve been fortunate not to lose.
Credit where credit is due. Mick McCarthy’s men have broken the cycle of one step forwards followed by two back and banished any fears they might get dragged into a Championship relegation scrap.
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Town fans, quite rightly, need a lot more convincing that genuinely brighter times are ahead though.
As positive as the performances against Reading, Aston Villa, Brighton, Leeds and to a lesser extent Norwich were, yesterday’s meek effort leaves Blues supporters understandably questioning whether usual service will be resumed.
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A sense of cynicism is deep-rooted following 18 months of steady stagnation and distinct lack of entertainment value.
Navigating the potentially choppy waters of February cooled the bubbling pot of discontent, but McCarthy’s return to a stubborn, dismissive rhetoric (he’s ‘not bothered’ what anyone thinks of him) and the team returning to passive play has ever so slightly turned the heat up a notch again.
Pessimists will point out that’s now just one win in 10 matches across all competitions.
McCarthy keeps insisting he will gauge his popularity levels before committing to the final year of his deal. Some of his comments about seeking reassurances from owner Marcus Evans about the club’s ambition might suggest that relationship isn’t as rock solid as the pair have always publically made out.
Evans, very conscious of falling attendances, will be waiting to see how season ticket renewals go before the big end of season chat.
Both are sizing up the situation.
There is certainly still much to prove over the final 11 matches – starting with Tuesday night’s visit of a Wolves side who have lost six on the spin – if fans are to be persuaded to part with their hard-earned cash for another year.