When the final whistles were blown up and down the country on Saturday it was a surprise to not only see that Ipswich had won, but that the players on short-term deals were the top performers.
Nobody expected Mick McCarthy to get anything from his first game in charge at Ipswich as the squad he has inherited have been dire in recent games. However they were more than a match for Birmingham and fully deserved the result that they grinded out at St Andrews.
As I mentioned, the bigger surprise was the fact that the players on short-term deals such as Reo-Coker, Wellens, N’Daw and Campbell were actually the best players for Ipswich. Obviously the downside is that these players may not be at the club for much longer as some of their contracts or loan deals are nearly up, but there is a chance that they may stay for longer.
Richie Wellens recently told the press that the permanent signings at Portman Road were the ones letting the side down and judging from this performance he may well be right.
In my opinion Wellens is a player with the right attitude as he is clearly not afraid to tell his team-mates when he feels they are not trying hard enough. To top it off the man on loan from Leicester has worked rigorously to help Ipswich climb the table when others in his situation would not bother. So whilst he may not be the most skilled player in the squad, he shows all the signs of a player with a great professional attitude and it would be great to see the club retain his services for longer.
Another player who has impressed is DJ Campell and his goal against Birmingham was his third goal in five games for the club. McCarthy said he is a fan of the striker because although he may not be the complete package as a frontman, he is a good poacher and decent goal scorer at Championship level. With the right players behind him he could easily get 20 goals in a season for Ipswich and he is another player that I would like to see stay on after his loan spell is up.
McCarthy has suggested that he will be looking into the possibility of extending both Wellens and Campbell’s loan deals as well as talking to Reo-Coker about a new contract. These are encouraging signs but it leaves me thinking; what about the rest of the squad?
It is slightly worrying to hear that the clubs top performers may be leaving the club soon and then McCarthy may struggle. Of course, only time will tell if the permanent signings are prepared to work hard for the club and it is good to have a manager at the helm who will not stand for anything less than 100% from his players.
Fortunately, the January transfer window is just under two months away which in a lot of ways puts McCarthy in a great position. He has just enough time to work out which players are the dead weight but not so long that they will damage the club’s chances of survival.
One player that could well be leaving is Lee Martin as he is only contracted until the summer and many have pointed him out as a player who is currently under-performing. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a few others leave in January and hopefully McCarthy will bring in players with the right attitude.