What can Ipswich Town realistically achieve this season?

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With 12 games played in the Championship this season it is safe to say that a reasonable amount of matches have been played.

As a result many will see now as a good time to use what they have seen so far to predict how the rest of the season will pan out.

Right now Ipswich sit in 12th place, seven points off the play-offs and seven points from the relegation zone, which suggests that they are set for another mid-table finish.

The Tractor Boys are one of the most unpredictable teams going forward for a number of reasons. First of all if Mick McCarthy is snatched up by the Republic of Ireland then the team is likely to be rebuilt and the season becomes one of transition rather than aspiration.

Some fans believe that if McCarthy leaves then the club will be unable to adequately replace him but whilst I am a huge fan of the former Wolves boss I do not think this is completely true. A few of the names mentioned are decent managers that have great potential, they just aren’t as solid and reliable as the current man at the helm.

However, the main point is – if a new manager comes in it is likely that he will have to replace most of his team as a large amount of the players only joined the club because of McCarthy. This will instantly move the team into a transitional phase where results will be inconsistent and finishing anywhere above the relegation zone will be a good achievement.

Of course this is only one scenario, if Ipswich can keep their current boss then I firmly believe that the only way is up this season. It is true that 26% of the season has been played but some of the most difficult games have already been crossed off the list.

The other good news is that McCarthy will be given money to spend in January if he does stay. Additionally, when Ipswich have played the likes of Reading, QPR and Burnley they have only narrowly lost and performances have remained reasonably consistent.

As I said before the start of the season; Ipswich are looking like they will finish just outside the play-offs but could sneak in if they make one or two top signings and get a bit of luck. The one thing you can be certain of with McCarthy at the helm is that the team will certainly not be around the relegation zone.

I would love to reassure fans that McCarthy will be staying at Ipswich but I can’t. From what he has said to the media I think if he is offered the Republic of Ireland job there is a good chance that he will take it.

My reasoning is based upon the fact that if he was not going to accept then he would have said as much in order to stop the headlines having a negative effect on his team. The question isn’t whether he would accept or not, it is all about whether the FAI are prepared to pay out close to £1 million in compensation to Ipswich.