Date: 8th March 2016 at 4:33pm
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There are some things I like about Mick McCarthy and one of them is his frankness in interview situations and his pragmatism.

He never seems to get to carried away when we are winning or too despondent when we are losing. In this regard he is very consistent and this is one aspect of his personality I admire.

Our manager is of the view that the only thing that really matters is the league table at the end of the season. The rest is but speculation that cannot be quantified and once again, he is right.

The tendency to praise every team and every manager in this division sometimes causes disgruntlement among supporters but once again, given the erratic nature of the Sky Bet Championship he probably has a point because we simply cannot take anything for granted here because absolutely nothing is certain.

Bolton Wanderers find themselves at the foot of the table with just 25 points from 35 matches, which is relegation form without a shadow of a doubt but it they were to do a Leicester City in the Premier two seasons ago then they would need an almost instant revival and that is starting tonight!

In this league anything is possible, as we see week in week out so we cannot afford to think that a visit to the Macron Stadium this evening is a formality – even if they are 29 points behind us just now but of course if we win the play-off’s would be back on again!

The pressure is certainly on manager Neil Lennon with talk of a club takeover in the offing. These are indeed unsettling times for a club that was founded in 1874 and for supporters who can still remember their glory years in the top flight of English football.

In fact tragedy is nothing new to this proud old club who tonight will remember the 33 people who died at the old Burnden Park with a minutes silence before the game with the blues and a special programme filled with people’s memories will be on sale.

Some estimates suggest that as many as 85,000 people were at the match between Bolton Wanderers and Stoke City in a ground which should have held a maximum of 65,000 when disaster struck in 1946 and many fans were crushed to death as barriers collapsed as supporters tried in vain to escape from the ground.

In the context of one of the worst football disasters in the history of the sport, the game itself tonight largely pales into insignificance, as thoughts will rest with the families of all those that perished.

I would hope that supporters on both side of the football divide will want to spare a thought for all those who lost their lives watching a sport they so enjoyed and this, shortly after the horrors of the Second World War.

Frank Weston – editor of Vital Ipswich


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