Ipswich Town fan Russell Claydon says tried and tested not always the best way

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After being taken for a ride by too many ex-Premier League players in recent years, it was hugely refreshing to see an Ipswich manager chose to close the door on one.

As soon as Nigel Reo-Coker demanded a longer deal than the few extra months to prove his worth Mick waved him off, which on the evidence of his 11 games with us, is no bad thing.

Players living on past glories have drained our resources in the Evans era, leaving managers with gaping holes in their squads which have been sorely exposed with us ending up in the wrong half of the table.

But Reo-Coker’s exit hopefully signals a change of direction, with the tried and tested player not necessarily the way to take a step forwards (see Norwich City and Southampton on this point).

McCarthy being spotted at Brentford on Tuesday, where highly-rated 22-year-old attacking midfielder Harry Forrester shone once again, adds credence to this, while Tyrone Mings could prove to be a bargain find.

David Johnson, Matt Holland, Jermaine Wright and John McGreal were all plucked from the lower leagues by George Burley to form a promotion-winning side in 1999/00. And hopefully the wheels are now being put in motion to repeat that feat.

This is still far from being McCarthy’s Ipswich, but the point they picked up in the 0-0 draw at league leaders Cardiff City on Saturday harked of a side only heading in one direction.

Plenty of confidence can be gained from becoming only the second side, with Brighton, to keep a clean sheet against them this term.

But it is imperative to keep that strong performance going with a win against strugglers Barnsley at home on Saturday, as a defeat would suddenly close the gap to three points.

Repeat the hunger and work-rate shown in South Wales on Saturday and we won’t be fretting over the league table once it has been recalculated at 5pm.