I know that owner Marcus Evans is prepared to bide his time before appointing a successor to Mick McCarthy but there is a risk that he may miss some great candidates in the meantime. The hiring and firing season is in full swing now and there are a lot of clubs eager to satisfy their collective thirst for success.
Then he has to decide what he wants? He has suggested that age would not be a barrier – or indeed a lack of experience but whoever he eventually selects, must have an understanding of the clubs proud history of producing entertaining football on a small budget.
Having listened intently to his interview on the official Ipswich Town website, I am of the view that this particular box must be ticked. Evans knows only too well how fractious the relationship between supporters and our former manager was and the damage it did to the club. He will want to employ someone who can carry on the excellent work of Bryan Klug and continue the healing process.
What was remarkable was the way a big crowd at Portman Road stuck with the team – even after the sending off and a 0-4 defeat. This would not have happened under McCarthy and Evans who was witness to it, must surely have noted the supporters reactions, which were favourable throughout.
The new manager will also not only have to provide entertaining football but also good results and whoever takes on the job will certainly have his hands full! He will have to assemble a squad on a limited budget and try to keep to that five-point plan that Evans constantly refers to. It is an unenviable task but at least the new gaffer will have some experienced players coming back from injury and some talented youth to choose from.
I suppose, given the time it is taking to find a new recruit, we should instead look at who will not be getting the job. Former Town player and once time interim coach Tony Mowbray is content at Blackburn, and is already prepared to extend his contract with the club. The Cowley Brothers have also sworn their allegiance to Lincoln City too by signing up for a longer term of office and Steven Gerrard looks destined to go to Rangers so our choices are already beginning to narrow.
Yet, as some remain loyal to their clubs, other clubs have shown their manager’s the door and former Wales boss Chris Coleman could not prevent his own dismissal when Sunderland was relegated. I have a feeling that if Evans waits a little longer then David Moyes and even Chris Hughton might become available!
But I think most of us do not want another McCarthyesque journeyman – or indeed, a manager who has got used to the boot only to resurface elsewhere. What I think Town need is someone who has both ambition and age on his side so that he can mould the squad into his own image and liking. Paul Hurst, and to a lesser extent Paul Cook fall into this category and so too does Dutchman Maurice Steijn and he would be my prefered choice for the post.
At the end of the day though, it is owner Marcus Evans who decides and we can only hope he has learned something from his ten years of running the club.