IPSWICH TOWN fan Russell Claydon says: Mick deserves the credit for defensive turnaround
After the defensive shambles at Reading last week, a clean sheet at Leeds United on Tuesday was just what the doctor ordered.
Reading expertly exploited the wide open gaps between our midfield and defence in an attacking set-up in front of the SKY cameras on Friday night, and the relative ease in which they penetrated our penalty area was simply embarrassing.
It was like we had reverted to the leaky side we were before Mick McCarthy plugged the holes and shored up the defence.
But the manager deserves great credit for sticking to his guns and not making knee-jerk reactions .
He asked his players to put things right (probably not very nicely) and they certainly responded by beatings Leed 1-0 at Elland Road.
Like Mick, I was in the minority who weren’t going over the top after the 5-1 defeat.
It is hard to say a game wasn’t a 5-1 but we had more possession and created more chances, while five of their six efforts on target came off — with only one the goalkeeper Dean Gerken’s fault.
On another day it could have been a completely different story.
Tuesday’s display saw our usual strong shape and stubborn nature return, while we also remained a big threat at the other end of the pitch, which was largely down to the continued form of our player-of-the-season so far, Ryan Fraser.
Of course, there was a heart-in-the-mouth moment to endure in the closing stages, before referee James Adcock booked Sam Byram for a dive in the Ipswich box in the 86th minute.
But Tommy Smith’s header has put us back in the top six and now we are able to look forward to a second Friday night SKY date, at home to seventh-placed Birmingham (7.45pm).
Then it’s the Capital One Cup third round trip to Old Trafford to take on Premier League giants Manchester United next Wednesday (8pm), in a game we go into with nothing to lose.