The Club website's Jonathon Ogle looks back at the months of November, December, January and February in part two of our season review
2012/13 proved to be an eventful season for Town, full of highs and lows and plenty of action at Portman Road. With the summer upon us and still a while to wait until Blues are next in action, the Club website’s reporter Jonathon Ogle looks back on the season in a three-part special. Part two looks at November-February.
Blues began the month of November by announcing the appointment of Mick McCarthy as the Club’s new manager, replacing Paul Jewell.
The former Wolves boss signed a deal which will see him remain at Portman Road until 2015, bringing in Terry Connor as his assistant, and 48 hours later he was preparing his side for his first game in charge, away at Birmingham.
The new gaffer got off to the perfect start, as a goal from loanee DJ Campbell saw Blues come away with all three points at St Andrews.
However Town were brought down to earth with a bump three days later, as Crystal Palace comfortably beat Blues 5-0 at Selhurst Park.
Nevertheless Town were soon back to winning ways, with DJ Campbell again on the scoresheet as Blues brushed aside Burnley at Portman Road, winning 2-1 in Mick’s first home game in charge.
Next up saw Town travel to the East Midlands to take on Leicester, although it was a day to forget as the Foxes comfortably took all three points in a convincing 6-0 win.
Town ended the month with consecutive home games, first Peterborough were held to a 1-1 draw before Blues put in arguably their performance of the season so far to beat Nottingham Forest 3-1. Daryl Murphy sealed the win with a late strike after Guirane N’Daw and Luke Hyam had previously both netted their first goals for the Club.
From the manager: “I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to be the new manager of Ipswich Town. It’s a fantastic Club, with a terrific fanbase and a proud history. I’m excited for the challenge ahead. (Mick McCarthy expresses his delight at being named as Town’s new manager).
From the dressing-room: “It was an incredible feeling for me to score my first Ipswich goal and as you can see from my celebrations, I lost my head a little bit!” (Luke Hyam revels in netting his goal in a Blue shirt after Town beat Forest at Portman Road).
Town player of the month:Daryl Murphy. The Celtic loanee proved to be the perfect foil for in-form strike partner DJ Campbell throughout the month, yet chipped in with a few goals himself during November, netting important goals in the wins over Burnley and Forest at Portman Road.
After finishing the previous month strongly, Town picked up in December where they had left off from with an away win over Bolton Wanderers.
Mark Davies had fired Dougie Freedman’s side in front, before DJ Campbell pulled Town level from the penalty spot. More drama followed as Michael Chopra came off the bench to net an injury time winner as Blues left the Reebok Stadium with all three points.
Mick’s unbeaten home record as Town boss showed no signs of letting up as Blues brushed aside Millwall 3-0, with Campbell (two) and Murphy again on target.
Blues couldn’t make it three wins on the bounce though, after going down 2-0 to Leeds at Elland Road.
A home draw against Bristol City followed next before strikes from DJ Campbell and Daryl Murphy gave Town some Christmas cheers as Blues beat Charlton 2-1 at the Valley on Boxing Day.
And the month was rounded off in superb fashion as Mick and TC returned to Molineux to take on Wolves, with Aaron Cresswell and Campbell both finding the back of the net as Blues took all three points.
From the manager: “I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t a special win for me. It was an emotional game, getting applauded by both sets of supporters, but most of all I’m delighted to get the three points for Ipswich.” (Town boss Mick McCarthy reveals ‘special win’ as Blues beat his old club Wolves at Molineux).
From the dressing-room: “It’s not often I’ll score with my right foot but I’ll certainly take it! It hit the target and nestled in the corner which was great to see and it’s helped us take all three points which is all that matters.” (Aaron Cresswell talks to the press after seeing his goal help Blues beat Wolves).
Town player of the month: DJ Campbell. Whilst Mick was nominated for manager of the month, much credit must also be given to loanee DJ, who netted five goals in a fruitful month for both player and Club.
Blues entered the New Year in fine form but couldn’t make a winning start to 2013 as Gus Poyet’s Brighton inflicted a first Portman Road defeat on Mick McCarthy, with a long range effort from Wayne Bridge the pick of the goals as the Seagulls won 3-0.
The manager reacted to this by signing David McGoldrick, Aaron Mclean and Patrick Kisnorbo on loan from Nottingham Forest, Hull City and Leeds respectively.
Next up saw Town travel to Premier League side Aston Villa in the FA Cup and although Blues put in a spirited display and opened the scoring through Michael Chopra, Villa’s experience shone through and they hit back to win 2-1.
Another tough test awaited Mick and the boys, as we travelled to Cardiff and a superb battling display saw Town hold the League leaders to goalless draw at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Town’s groundstaff worked around the clock to beat the elements to ensure Blues’ game with Barnsley would go ahead as planned, with a Luke Chambers strike ensuring we claimed a share of the spoils at Portman Road.
However the month ended on a disappointing note as a last minute strike from former Blue Jon Stead saw Town slip to a 2-1 defeat to Bristol City at Ashton Gate.
From the manager: “I would have taken the point before the game and I’m happy to take it now. We perhaps shaded it in terms of chances but overall I think it was a fair result.” (The boss seems happy enough to take a point at League leaders Cardiff).
From the dressing-room: “I’m delighted to be here. The chance to come and play for a Club of this size and under a manager like Mick McCarthy was something I just couldn’t turn down.” (David McGoldrick explains his reasons for joining Blues).
Town player of the month: Guirane N’Daw. A difficult month for Town with some tough games, but one man who battled throughout was Senegal midfielder N’Daw. Gi put in a magnificent performance against Cardiff and struck up a solid partnership with Luke Hyam in the centre of the pitch.
Blues were soon back to winning ways though, kicking off February with a fantastic 4-0 win over Middlesbrough at Portman Road.
Defender Tommy Smith netted a brace, whilst there were first Town goals for strikers David McGoldrick and Aaron Mclean as Blues took all three points.
Next up saw Town make the trip north to take on Blackburn but it proved to be an unhappy journey, as former Blue Jordan Rhodes struck late on to win it for Rovers.
Michael Chopra came off the bench in Town’s next fixture to net the only goal of the game, as Blues beat Blackpool 1-0 at Portman Road.
However the same couldn’t be repeated three days later as an impressive Watford side left Suffolk with all three points, Ikechi Anya and Nathanial Chalobah on target for Gianfranco Zola’s team.
The month was finished off with a stalemate at Huddersfield, with neither side finding a way past the opposing ‘keepers.
From the manager: “It was a huge result for us. It was a horrible, scrappy game but a magnificent three points and that’s all I care about.” (Town boss Mick delighted with Blackpool win thanks to Michael Chopra’s second-half strike).
From the dressing-room: “It’s always a nice feeling when you get on the scoresheet but it’s even better when the team gets three points. It was certainly a deserved win.” (Two goal hero Tommy Smith gives his reaction to the home win over Middlesbrough).
Town player of the month: Tommy Smith. The defender, along with centre-back partner Luke Chambers, was in fine form this month as he helped Town keep three clean sheets. The New Zealand international also chipped in with two goals against Middlesbrough.