Time to reflect on a year of progress at Ipswich Town
Mick McCarthy will this week celebrate his one-year anniversary as Ipswich Town manager with pride.
The fact that some Blues fans were disappointed with a 1-1 draw at Bolton on Saturday is an indication of just how much the Yorkshireman has achieved in just 12 months.
When he took over on November 1 last year, a Town side filled with temporary signings were rock-bottom of the Championship table with just seven points achieved from the opening 13 league games.
Now, at the same stage of the 2013/14 season, the Suffolk side are an equidistant seven points between the play-off places and relegation zone.
The number of loanees has been reduced to just one, the wage bill has been dramatically reduced and a small squad brimming with spirit is consistently competing on a week-in, week-out basis.
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With Friday’s televised home game against Barnsley marking his one-year anniversary at Portman Road, McCarthy said: “Some days it feels like it’s flown by, other times it feels like I’ve been here for a long time.
“Blooming ‘eck, February this year I felt like I’d been here three years already!
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“There are others times when I think ‘wow, where have those 12 months gone?’
“Last season the plan was simply to stay up, then the plan was to add some stability to it, which I think has happened.
“We don’t look like a team that will fluctuate up and down with performances and results, we look like a fairly solid team.
“I look at (top-of-the-table) Burnley and think we’re not much worse off then them.
“It will be tight again in this division. There isn’t much between the teams. Sometimes it’s just a little bit of luck or a moment of craft and guile that decides games.”
David McGoldrick’s 75th minute strike rescued a point for Town at The Reebok Stadium on Saturday, but the Blues are still without an away league win in seven attempts this season. They have won just once in 19 away games across all competitions this calendar year.
“Utopia is winning them all,” said McCarthy. “But drawing away and winning at home is usually a good formula.
“Saturday was just a bang ordinary game with two bits of quality – their goal and our goal. Other than that it was two Championship teams scrapping it out.”