Has Mick McCarthy Had A Change Of Heart?
For the best part of five years we have witnessed a former defender defend defence like no one else in football but has manager Mick McCarthy had a change of heart?
Now we know that injuries have played havoc to many of his best laid plans and with ten first team players out through injury and illness, he has had to juggle the pack but the way Town played in defeating Millwall last night at The Den was a revelation!
We attacked like there was no tomorrow and with four strikers all pushing forward, we were always going to be a little vulnerable at the back. No matter because this is what the fans have come to see and win, lose or indeed draw, it was a worthy spectacle that embodied the very essence of free flowing football.
McCarthy said afterwards that because of the unavailability of so many of his squad, he had little choice but to go for it and go for it the Tractor Boys most certainly did!
This was a thoroughly entertaining encounter and having spoken with first team coach Terry Connor before kick-off, McCarthy quickly realised that he was down to the bare bones and what he had left would dictate to a large extent how they played.
Defensively of course Town were all over the place and conceded after just 44 seconds but what was more encouraging was the team's dogged determination and resilience, which we have seen on more than one occasion already this season.
Within three minutes we were level and it was the beginning of what would turn out to be one of the highest scoring encounters witnessed by Town supporters for a long time.
It was ironic that it was one of our defenders, Jordan Spence, who nodded home the winning goal with moments to spare but what was even more remarkable than that, was the way the Blues approached this game from the start.
Mick McCarthy said that he would have been grateful for a point in the end but the Ipswich players had obviously not read the script and pressed for a winner, once Millwall had belatedly clawed their way back into the match.
Four wins out of four and three of them away from home is something that dreams are made of and yet the dream is still very much alive!
I do not want to sound too cynical but I have to question whether our manager would have played with such attacking verve had it not been for the fact that injuries have blighted his pragmatic approach to the game and that his contract is up in November?
We may never know. One thing we do know however is that supporters are much more forgiving of defeat if we play with such collective endeavour and striking intent and if the gaffer is intent on getting bums back on seats at Portman Road then this is the very best way to do it.
Already Rangers rejects Joe Garner and Martyn Waghorn have got the Glaswegians talking about why they parted company so cheaply and if the two of them can continue in this rich vein of form, then who knows where it might take the Blues during the course of the Championship season?
Frank Weston - Editor of Vital Ipswich