Date: 6th July 2015 at 5:11pm
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As I intimated yesterday, as a Town fan for 45 years and more, I have not felt so positive about a forthcoming season in decades!

As I have explained in this column on many occasions before, I did not want Mick McCarthy to get the post.

If there was to be a Mick taking over at Portman Road then I would have assumed his surname would have been Mills. In hindsight though our former captain had long since lost interest in managing football clubs and I am not taking the Mick if you get my drift!

It is a pity though that he never got to manage the Town because I think at the peak of his powers he would have been an ideal candidate but that is now by the way and certainly our former captain firmly believes that our gritty Yorkshire man is doing a sterling job managing Ipswich Town football club and so do I!

In my case I have had to eat lots and lots of humble pie. My only defence and it is a feeble one, is that I feared that his pragmatical kind of management would destroy our more natural attacking style but I should have known better. Mick McCarthy had a game plan and it was very much old school. First sort out the defence and then, bit by bit, address the other issues and this he has systematically done.

Now we have four good quality strikers to choose from and a midfield that will finally get us some goals! Even losing Tyrone Mings should not present us with too many immediate headaches because he already has a natural replacement, who was bought especially for the job so we can expect to see much more of Jonathan Parr this term.

So the jigsaw pieces are all starting to fit together rather well and our manager is of the view that there is no need to have a bulky squad. He considers two players for every position about right because a squad much larger than the allocated 22 means disgruntlement and frustration for those who cannot get a look in.

It of course also gives our developing players a chance to shine and we have already seen in Luke Hyam and more recently Teddy Bishop what a real delight this can be!

I am hoping that this season it will be the turn of Dylan Connolly, Adam McDonnell, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Alex Henshall to come to the fore because there is plenty of talent waiting in the wings and the only way they will get a look in is if we have a relatively small squad of players to choose from.

I admit to having serious reservations about Mick McCarthy when he took on the post but hats off to Marcus Evans and his advisers for getting this appointment absolutely right!

Mick McCarthy is refreshingly honest and more than just a pragmatist. He understands the game better than most and I am pleased to admit I got it totally wrong!

The Blues can get closer than ever this season of this I am absolutely certain. From dragging us up from our bootlaces to 14th in the table in his first half season in charge was quite an achievement and the progress has been discernible ever since.

In his first full season at the helm he got us to 9th and last time 6th so where will we end up this time I wonder?

I would like to think a top two finish is not beyond the realms of possibility and I have an inkling that he thinks much the same!

Frank Weston – Editor of Vital Ipswich


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