Is it time for a wake-up call at Ipswich Town?
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Head of sport Chris Lakey wonders whether Ipswich Town are heading for more mediocrity after the thrill of last season.
Are Ipswich Town becoming the most boring team in England?
Or have they achieved that unwelcome title already?
I ask only because there has been a sense of doom creeping in at Portman Road.
The Tractor Boys' last two games have been goalless draws, they haven't scored in their last three and when you look at the Championship promotion race, they don't warrant a serious mention, even though they are just two places outside of the top six.
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On Tuesday night they were held at home by Charlton, a team which is positively charging towards relegation and League One.
Afterwards, McCarthy said: 'It was a difficult game with neither side doing enough to win it. Both had chances and why they are in the bottom three, heaven only knows.
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'They are a pretty tight unit and we weren't good enough to break that down.
'It did neither of us any favours – us trying to get into the play-offs and them out of the bottom three.
'We will try and win our next game and win as many as we can and see where that takes us. But we are now in a must-win situation – there is no getting away from that.'
Football managers can be canny and cagey and McCarthy has been around long enough to know how to remain pragmatic.
But when he departed Molineux in February 2012, Wolves fans had been concerned about a rotten run of results.
On Tuesday, according to some, it was simply, boring. And for a club which is now in its 14th consecutive season plying its trade in the Championship, the scenery doesn't look like changing much.
To give McCarthy credit, he has turned Ipswich around, and he has done it with not much cash to spend.
There is no finger-pointing from this side of the border and this isn't written from a Norwich City perspective, but this time last year Town and City were on a play-off collision course.
Norwich may be struggling, but at least there are clear signs of life.
The pulse at Portman Road is weakening.