Ipswich Town fan Russell Claydon says McCarthy is the league’s best boss

This week I had to eat football humble pie.

Going into the final game, my 10th-placed prediction for the Town, made before a ball had been kicked, was on course to be achieved, other results permitting.

Being our resident Ipswich Town ‘expert’ it wasn’t great to be beaten by both my sportsdesk colleagues (Shrimper Derek Bish 12th and Eagle Sam Murley 11th).

But after opting for upper mid-table and hoping for a bit more, it’s fair to say in the end I’m more than happy to land one place up from 2011/12’s 15th.

It was disappointing to end on a bum note at Burnley on the final day, but the 2-0 defeat came after the Lord Mayor’s Show with the real job of avoiding the national glare on the final weekend having already been achieved.

Malky Mackay and Steve Bruce may be taking the plaudits for leading Cardiff City and Hull City to the riches of the Premier League, but Mick McCarthy has to be in with a decent shout of the league’s manager-of-the-year award. To turn the Football League’s worst defence into one of the best is quite something.

McCarthy has already begun his work for next season by announcing Michael Chopra and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas can leave, while Arran Lee-Barrett and Andy Drury are being released.

Chopra is a player I’ll happily wave goodbye to as he came with too much baggage to perform and his conduct on Twitter has been galling (his latest tweet seemingly boasting he will hold tight for a year and take the rest of his money, rather than leave).

JET is a great player on his day, but McCarthy wants consistency and believes he can get more from another flair player, maybe Alan Judge (Notts County).

I feel sorry for Lee-Barrett and Drury as both players were in a minority of always appearing to give their all.

But it is time to warmly welcome a new chapter.