Rotherham United draw WAS turning point in Ipswich Town’s stuttering season, but not on the pitch
PUBLISHED: 06:00 31 October 2016 | UPDATED: 15:12 31 October 2016
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Mick McCarthy said Saturday’s 2-2 home draw against rock-bottom Rotherham could prove to be a turning point in Town’s faltering season.
Hopefully that will be the case, but given the current climate, such remarks are like a red rag to a bull for Ipswich fans.
“We kept going, that’s the biggest thing you can probably take from it and if you are ever looking for a point in a season to turn a bad moment around, maybe that could be it,” said McCarthy, right.
There was a turning point on Saturday, but it came in the stands where, come full-time, the mood was vitriolic, the atmosphere toxic.
Chants such as “What a load of rubbish” and “Your football is s**t” were the product of the frustration that has been building up recently.
Town fans are a patient bunch but the mood has turned this season, McCarthy’s perceived style of play a big bugbear.
Saturday was a tipping point for many and the majority that interacted with this writer on social media were not buying his comments.
He still has his supporters and, unless something drastic happens from within the boardroom, has time to turn things around.
Most people would love to see him reverse the Blues’ ailing fortunes, but his post-match thoughts will not help his cause.
Fans are not silly, so claiming that a last-gasp point against a side that had not previously earned an away point all season (seven games), could be a turning point, was a little galling.
Put all the doom and gloom to one side and the game was far from the worst seen at Portman Road this season.
McCarthy was bold in his team selection, giving the fit-again David McGoldrick his first start since the opening day, as well as fielding attack-minded players, Teddy Bishop, Grant Ward, Tom Lawrence and Freddie Sears.
They started well enough too and Sears opened the scoring within three minutes.
And, had it not been for some poor defending, McCarthy, who has seen several of his forward players hit by long-term injuries this season, could have secured a much-needed win.
The comedy collision between Christophe Berra and Adam Webster for the Millers’ second goal could not be legislated for though and Town were deflated after Danny Ward put Rotherham in front.
From that moment, they got nervy and discarded neat passing for percentage football.
Despite huffing and puffing, they didn’t give up though and McGoldrick hit a super 30-yard equaliser.
But the celebrations soon turned to jeers as the final whistle blew. Then McCarthy walked to the centre circle, applauding all sides of the ground, chest out, head up, defiant.
He is adamant the tide can turn, but has some work to do to persuade his detractors.
He certainly didn’t pull the wool over their eyes on Saturday.
n Four pages of Town reaction inside