Ipswich Town fan Russell Claydon says ‘Mick makes us tick but needs funds’

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What a difference a year makes.

Twelve months ago we were rock bottom of the table and staring relegation to League One in the face.

But enter Mick McCarthy, who will mark his anniversary in front of the Sky cameras against Barnsley on Friday (7.45pm).

The remarkable transformation was no more apparent than in the defence where the worst in the Football League metamorphosed into one of the best to steer us to safety.

Mick has proved it was no honeymoon effect by consolidating us into a mid-table position — seven points off both relegation and the play-offs — by the turn of the clocks.

He has done it despite having to significantly reduce the wage bill and deal in free transfers.

Improvements can certainly be made; to the away form, the style of football and adding more width to a side who look lop-sided with Ryan Tunnicliffe on the left, but I can’t argue with the job Mick has done.

The only worry now is, with the Republic of Ireland job available, he could decide the task of taking us up without substantial financial backing is too great.

I can’t help but feel if he does go it will leave us heading back where we started.

Quite simply, Mick is the man that makes us tick and Marcus Evans, after seeing what he can do, needs to back him with sensible resources to take us to the next level.

Until January though, could Paul Taylor prove to be the man to provide some much-needed pace up front?

He returns from an unspectacular spell at Peterborough but has picked up some much-needed match fitness and I’d give him a run.

The 1-1 draw at Bolton suddenly looks a lot better if we take all three points from a Barnsley side with the worst away record in the country, but who have picked up with a win and a draw.