While I was across the Atlantic Ocean learning about Fidel Castro and Chez Guevara’s coup d’état, Mick McCarthy was busy overseeing his blue revolution.
The turnaround in results has been quite remarkable; 16 points from eight games in charge moving us from staring up at the rest of the league to five points clear of the drop zone.
What is even more striking is, aside from Bradley Orr and Tyrone Barnett, the latter now returned to Posh injured, this has been done with the same band of sorry players unable to save Paul Jewell’s bacon.
The key missing ingredient, confidence, is clearly back, and was flowing strong in an excellent 3-0 win over Millwall at Portman Road on Saturday, to make it three straight wins and end the Lions’ 13-game unbeaten run.
DJ Campbell’s predatory instincts, now with eight goals in 12 games after a double on Saturday, has been the driving force behind the turnaround, while the luck Jewell didn’t get, four straight penalties and late goals in our favour, also has to be acknowledged.
But McCarthy deserves all the credit coming his way right now, even if Jewell and Keane also had good starts.
He knows there is a lot of work still to be done, but a psychological corner has definitely been turned and sends us to Elland Road to face a Leeds side who have won three of their last four with plenty of optimism.
The big test is still to come, with a spine of loan players in the team who could suddenly return to their parent clubs, while there is also the thorny issue of contract renewals that seems to be following the lastminute.com policy of the last few years to sort out.
It is always good to see Town players out in the community (they did a well above Championship average 432 hours in 11/12) and Luke Chambers, Lee Martin and Aaron Cresswell, at West Suffolk Hospital, and Michael Chopra, Josh Carson, Jack Ainsley and Scott Loach at St Nicholas Hospice, brought some much-needed Christmas cheer to patients this week.
Back on the pitch, I hope they can deliver some more on Saturday and prove that Santa is a Tractor Boy.