‘There’s no way we’ll go down’ says Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie scoffs at the idea his beloved Blues could get relegated next season and disagrees with those who feel manager Mick McCarthy should be sacked.
Town recently ended up 16th in the Championship, the club’s lowest finish in 58 years, and have seen a decrease of around 2,000 season ticket holders ahead of a 16th successive season in the second-tier.
Former England international Beattie lives in the town and is fully aware of the overwhelming sense of disillusionment among supporters, but his own positivity remains undiminished.
“I speak to fans all the time and so many of them say to me ‘get rid of Mick’ and my answer to them is always ‘no way’,” said the man who is regularly voted as the club’s greatest-ever player.
“He saved us from relegation and then oversaw finishes of ninth, sixth and seventh. People have been quick to forget that.
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“I understand the fans’ frustrations, I really do, because I’m one of them. But who else are we going to get that’s better? Mick is not a guy who will walk away from a challenge and I like that. I’d trust him with my life. Fans may not agree with me, but that’s how I feel.”
He continued: “In my day we had the same with the boss, Sir Bobby Robson. The fans didn’t like him for a time, but he turned it around. And I’m convinced Mick will turn things around too. Speak to Sunderland and Wolves fans and many of them will tell you they got rid of Mick too quickly.”
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Beattie laughs when told that bookmakers SkyBet have Ipswich as second-favourites for the drop in 2017/18.
“I’m not saying we’re too big of a club to go down, because we’ve seen what’s happened to Blackburn and Coventry and others, but I honestly thing we’re just too good to be relegated,” he says. “We were never going to go down last season and there’s no way, no way at all, we will go down next season.
“We’ve got a good spine to this team with the likes of Bartosz Bialkowski, Tommy Smith and David McGoldrick, and a great captain in Chambo (Luke Chambers). Two or three signings, including an experienced midfielder, could make a world of difference.
“Every season is a blank page and I always start off believing we can finish in the top six. Money isn’t everything. You have to keep the faith.”