1. ITV Report

Ipswich relegation battle for McCarthy

Mick McCarthy starts his job at Ipswich Town trying to lift the club from the foot of the Championship. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Mick McCarthy is determined to fulfil the potential on offer at Ipswich but must first drag the club away from what he openly admits is a relegation battle.

McCarthy was handed the reins at Portman Road this morning, signing a two-and-a-half-year deal to succeed Paul Jewell after he parted ways with the Suffolk club by mutual consent last Wednesday.

He inherits an undoubtedly talented squad who have certainly underperformed so far this season, as Town lie bottom of the npower Championship with just seven points from 13 matches thanks in large part to a miserable 12-match winless sequence.

McCarthy told Ipswich's official website: "This is a good football club, first and foremost, and it's sad to see it languishing where it is.

"I feel for Paul (Jewell) and Hutch (Chris Hutchings, Jewell's assistant) and I have spoken to them both. I know how disappointed they are that it didn't work out for them.

"When you look around the place, everything is here. It's just not happened on the pitch.

"I'll take opinions from the coaching staff and the players. Everyone has to analyse their own performance of why the club is where it is."

"I want success here and I've got a good feeling about the place, that's why I'm here. I want to get Ipswich Town going in the right direction but make no mistake, at the moment the club is in a relegation battle and we've got to fight and scrap to get out of it."

– Mick McCarthy, Ipswich Town manager

McCarthy starts his Ipswich tenure with a return to familiar territory on Saturday as Town travel to Birmingham. The 53-year-old spent close to six years in the west midlands in charge of Wolves before his sacking in February.

McCarthy, who also enjoyed a six-year spell in charge of the Republic of Ireland, has vast experience of the second tier having led each of his clubs - Millwall, Sunderland and Wolves - to the play-offs while he guided the latter pair to Championship titles in 2005 and 2009 respectively.

Having kept Wanderers in the top flight for two successive seasons he was given the boot towards the back end of last season following a poor run of results. They were eventually relegated three months later under McCarthy's assistant Terry Connor, who took over as interim boss before himself being sacked in early September having reverted back to number two under Stale Solbakken. Connor has rejoined McCarthy as his assistant at Ipswich

Former Ipswich captain Matt Holland played under McCarthy at international level. Credit: Nigel French/EMPICS Sport

Former Ipswich captain Matt Holland, who played under McCarthy at international level, was heavily tipped for involvement among the backroom staff as he works towards his coaching badges. But Holland insists he has had no contact with McCarthy.

Using his Twitter account, he wrote: "Excellent appointment by #ITFC - Mick McCarthy is a very good manager and as honest as they come. The very best of luck to him and Terry.

"He also has a very dry sense of humour and will put a smile back on the players faces. 3 points on Sat now! #coyb

"And for the record I haven't spoken to him. He has far more pressing issues - like getting #ITFC off the foot of the table!"

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