Can Town break into the playoffs?…
The 2013/14 campaign was one of unqualified success for Ipswich Town as they finally put behind them years of underachievement and put together a serious play-off challenge. With Mick McCarthy having taken over the previous November with the club bottom of the table he first steered Town to a comfortable finish before taking them on this season and coming only just short in the race for the play-off’s. Despite having relatively little money to spend compared to some of his predecessor’s, McCarthy bought extremely well with experienced players who knew exactly how to cope with the demands of the Championship. They had an excellent home record throughout the season, although they slipped up both home and away to some of the poorer team’s in the division. Had they managed to pick up a few more points in those games they would have finished in the play-off places. The loss of key striker David McGoldrick was also a key factor. If they can keep him fit for the whole of this season, they may well improve on last season’s finish.
If you want a manager to come into a Championship club and stabilise it before moving it forward then Mick McCarthy is your man. Vastly experienced as a manager both domestically and internationally with Republic of Ireland, McCarthy ticks about every box as a manager. He’s managed some big clubs in Sunderland and Wolves and proved a number of times he is capable of getting teams out of the Championship. He doesn’t appear to have much money at Ipswich but given he time they will make continual improvement under his stewardship.
In: Alex Henshall (Manchester City), Cameron Stewart (Hull City), Jonathan Parr (Crystal Palace), Bartosz Bialkowski (Notts County), Balint Bajner (Borussia Dortmund), Kevin Bru (Levski Sofia)
Out: Carlos Edwards (Millwall), Scott Loach (Rotherham Utd), Aaron Cresswell (West Ham Utd), Federic Veseli (Port Vale)
The teams that have come down from the Premiership this season look very strong and with little money spent on reinforcing the squad Ipswich may struggle to improve on last season if any of there key players are out for any period of time. They should definitely finish in the top half but whether they go any further than that very much depends on injuries.