Can Mick McCarthy Ever Win Back The Fans?
These are troubled times indeed if you are associated with Ipswich Town football club.
The mistrust between supporters and the board is bad enough and then we have the manager spouting off about how supporters are perhaps more frustrated with themselves than they are with the brand of football he has instilled into his players.
Mick McCarthy remains unrepentant in the face of severe criticism and his flippant remarks of late only serve to exacerbate the already tinder box environment now apparent at Portman Road.
After that disappointing bore draw against Birmingham City on Saturday afternoon, Mick McCarthy felt that Town supporters were shooting themselves in the foot.
'Any negativity is detrimental to the team. If it`s detrimental to the team and we don`t play well, and don`t get the result we want, then they've been part of it - simple as that.' he said wryly.
But the trouble with Mick is that his pigheadedness is often the cause of his woes. He is adamant that he is one of the best managers since sliced bread and if we want to be reminded of biblical miracles and just how good he is, then we should remember another major miracle that occurred only four seasons ago when he took charge and somehow saved us from the drop!
Yet, just like the holy book itself, it now seems a long time in the past and the longer this winless run continues, the more the pressure will mount on him and his coaching staff as well of course as the players.
Can this stubborn Yorkshireman with Irish roots turn the tide of discontent that is seemingly engulfing everyone at the club, or will we manage to escape this looming football tsunami that threatens to take us all down with him?
Town were lucky to get a point on Saturday and now we face a Wigan side tomorrow night at home, who are equally desperate for points.
Our manager insists that he does not go looking for a draw at Portman Road but is nevertheless relatively content if we get one.
This is a very risky strategy when a win will get you three times as many points and that gap between the Blues and the drop zone can narrow in next to no time at all.
I will leave the last words to the man himself as he prepares for another must-win encounter tomorrow evening.
'They (the supporters) are part of it. When we are winning they are a massive part. And they are a massive part of us getting beat as well.'
Frank Weston - Editor of Vital Ipswich