Icy re­cep­tion for turgid Town

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Dave Good­er­ham

WITH so much to play for at ei­ther end of the Cham­pi­onship, both Ip­swich Town and Wi­gan Ath­letic suf­fered from frost­bite dur­ing a bit­terly dis­ap­point­ing goal­less draw.

Boos rung out at the end at Port­man Road but with Ip­swich still firmly en­trenched in the top­six, it was prob­a­bly more of an in­dict­ment of the unin­spir­ing, turgid foot­ball on show.

De­fences were well on top but this was as much about the lack of any fi­nal-third cre­ativ­ity and in­ven­tive­ness.

This was cer­tainly one to for­get, even if Wi­gan closed the gap to fourth-bot­tom to seven points while Ip­swich lost ground on the Cham­pi­onship fron­trun­ners.

Nei­ther Town boss Mick McCarthy nor his op­po­site num­ber Malky Mackay of­fered any ex­cuses – both ad­mit­ting they were de­lighted with a point in the cir­cum­stances.

McCarthy said: “I’m not go­ing to make any ex­cuses. Nei­ther side played very well. We didn’t de­serve to win the game, so I am de­lighted with the point.

“I have al­ways said we are not that good that we are go­ing to win ev­ery game. But it takes about 75 points to make the play-offs so we now need 24.

“The key to get­ting re­sults in any di­vi­sion is grind­ing out points, es­pe­cially when you are not play­ing well.

“If you look through Wi­gan’s team, you can’t tell me that’s a team in the bot­tom three. They ought to be chal­leng­ing.

“They made it re­ally hard for us. If I was Malky, I would think that’s a mag­nif­i­cent point.”

Mackay was in­deed a proud man as he plot­ted more ad­di­tions to his squad ahead of Mon­day’s trans­fer dead­line.

He said: “I think we were ter­rific. I have watched Ip­swich four times this sea­son as a neu­tral and I knew they grinded teams down be­fore scor­ing and win­ning – that is why they are near the top.

“We had to make sure we matched that and we did. There was very lit­tle be­tween the two teams. Any­one watch­ing that game couldn’t have said who was near the top and who was near the bot­tom.”

In a week where some of the club’s big names have left, Mackay added:“We are start­ing to get a team in my im­age and the way I want to play.

“Any­one I bring in, whether it is on loan or per­ma­nent, has to have hunger and fire in their belly and hope­fully we can get at least an­other two in be­fore Mon­day.”

It was an in­stantly for­get­table first half with freez­ing fans starved of clear-cut chances.

The best fell to Jay Tabb, the in­dus­tri­ous Ip­swich Town mid­fielder, who was beau­ti­fully fed by Ty­rone Mings but opted to drill the ball over with team mates scream­ing for a pass.

Wi­gan, a side very much in tran­si­tion, were clearly con­tent in sit­ting back, and who can blame them?

At the other end, Ip­swich were miss­ing Cham­pi­onship top scorer Daryl Mur­phy, out with a calf in­jury – though new sign­ing Fred­die Sears of­fered a tan­ta­lis­ing glimpse dur­ing a 25-minute cameo.

Sec­ond-half chances were as rare as in the open­ing 45 min­utes.

McGoldrick headed straight at Ali Al Habsi, while an alert Sears beat his marker but also hit straight at the Wi­gan stop­per.

At the other end, James Perch brushed a header just wide but the game drifted to an in­evitable and dire con­clu­sion.

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

HOLD ON: Wi­gan Ath­letic’s Mar­tyn Waghorn keeps Ip­swich’s Luke Cham­bers air­borne

McGoldrick BAL­ANCE: Ip­swich’s David

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