When Mick McCarthy took over we all expected him to chop and change everything in order to get results, but in fact it seems like the opposite has happened.
The Ipswich boss has actually said that he would like to keep as many of the current players at the club as possible which in ways has been surprising.
After all, earlier in the season a vast majority of the players were putting in performances that would be considered poor even by League One standards. It is safe to say that most of the fans had given up on those players and were just hoping for a January overhaul, but McCarthy has other ideas.
He has made just a couple simple changes to the side and focused on getting the best out of the under-performers. Results have improved drastically and the relegation worries now seem like a thing of the past.
January will still be a very interesting month for Ipswich even without a huge overhaul though. There are still six or seven players on short-term deals and the club need to decide which ones they want to keep on permanently.
I expect that Ipswich will end up keeping around half of them and the other half will move elsewhere. The players that leave will probably be replaced by one or two quality signings but even then I won’t be expecting too much.
McCarthy has said that he will refrain from buying too many players in January because he believes that prices will be high due to a number of clubs being desperate to make changes. This is probably the smart option to take for a number of additional reasons.
First of all, the current team are getting good results lately so there is no real need to make big changes. The Tractor Boys are not winning every game but they are winning just as much as they are losing, which will be enough to keep them safe.
Secondly, with the financial fair play rules now in place it would be foolish to waste money for no real reason. Ipswich aren’t going up this season and as long as they don’t go down to League One it will be a successful season. I would much rather see McCarthy invest the money he has at his disposal on the right players in the summer, rather than waste it on January panic buys.
It is encouraging to see the former Wolves manager taking an approach that looks after the club in the short-term as well as the long-term.
Of course it is frustrating to roll out the usual phrase of “it is all about next season” because I have heard everyone repeating that line for nearly ten years now. However that is all we can do as fans; just patiently see this season pass by and hope that the next brings us better things.
Personally I am hoping that McCarthy uses what is left of this season to give some younger players a go in the first team. As soon as we are completely safe from relegation then that should be the priority and hopefully we can develop the core of a decent side for next season.