Date: 24th March 2015 at 7:26pm
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Where there is a will there is a way as they say and Ipswich Town football club found it on Saturday against an in-form Watford team with a combination of gritty determination and insidious cunning.

Mick McCarthy thought long and hard about this one because he knew in his heart of hearts that anything less than a win and those faint automatic promotion hopes would be binned for good.

Of course he is far too crafty to spell it out in so many words and I am sure if we had drawn he would have defended his troops by suggesting that a draw is always a good result because it is another point in the bag.

Against Watford of course it would have been but he set his stall out to get all three and in the end he got his just rewards!

It was the first time since last year that he began with three up front and this might have worked if it had been Daryl Murphy and Freddie Sears with David McGoldrick shadowing them in a diamond.

But our front three consisted of three old fashioned centre forwards and he quickly realized that playing this way was not going to get results and Luke Varney began to play a bit deeper on the right side of the midfield, which in turn gave the team more of a balanced look.

The ability of McCarthy to see the danger and correct it was one of the reasons why the blues kept their shape and he displayed his cunning once again later in the match with a pair of inspired substitutions.

It was fitting that Freddie Sears and Richard Chaplow combined brilliantly for that injury time winner because it was orchestrated by the guile of our gritty Yorkshire guru!

Of course these things don’t always come off and we only have to look back a few days to Middlesbrough and the stuffing we took at The Riverside.

McCarthy gambled with four forwards in the end that day but it was too little too late as we were already losing 3-1 at the time and the writing was already on the wall.

Perhaps our manager learned something new because when he introduced the pace of Sears whilst we were still very much in the match at Watford, it went a long way to unsettling a stubborn home defence.

In the end though, what won Town all three points and perhaps another significant turning point in our season was our attitude.

McCarthy had warned that his players must not lose their nerve and
if anyone was in any doubt about this squad then they proved emphatically against The Hornets that what they lack in technical ability they more than make up for with good old fashioned grit and determination marinated with a bit of McCarthy guile.

Now they all deserve a bit of a breather and after holding my breath for most of Saturday afternoon perhaps I need one too?!

Frank Weston – Vital Ipswich


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