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Mills: This is Truly Dragging Its Feet Now
Sunday, 24th Jan 2021 11:50

Blues legend Mick Mills issued a damning assessment of Town’s current situation following Saturday’s 1-0 home loss to Peterborough which saw them drop to ninth in the League One table.

Speaking on BBC Radio Suffolk’s post-match phone-in Mills gave his evaluation of the Blues’ present predicament with the defeat to Posh Town’s fifth in six games at home.

Overall, they have picked up just 10 points from their last nine matches, far from promotion form. Since winning five and drawing one of their first six League One games, they have won only five of the following 15.

“I just think that we’ve not been winning games for such a long period now, it’s not been good enough and we’ve been slowly sort of edging away from a position that we really should be in,” Mills said.

“We had that fabulous start to the season and we should have gone on from there but the performances are still a bit edgy, they lack fluency. Every area of the pitch that you try to analyse we haven’t quite got it right.

“The back four is not A1, we’re losing a little bit from the full-back positions that we had early in the season.

“I don’t think Luke Chambers and Stephen Ward are coming onto the game as much as they did. I don’t know whether that’s because they’re losing a little bit of confidence in the centre-half pairings that continue to change. We don’t seem to have a really solid pairing.

“It might be a lack of confidence from the full-back positions in the centre-halves that they’re playing with, but certainly the attacking side of that area of the pitch has gone.

“We saw the three together in the centre of midfield, [Andre] Dozzell, [Teddy] Bishop and [Flynn] Downes, coming together today.

“Again, they’re not quite producing. None of the three were absolutely as individuals on top of their game. Consequently, collectively they weren’t as good as you want them to be.

“And then you’ve got the three attacking players and you’ve got to say they were only OK. And we can’t go on and on and on saying ‘it was OK today, it wasn’t bad’. It’s got to be good.

“I know injuries haven’t been helping matters very much but we’re still, for me, a mile away from having a really fluent team. We’re bits and pieces really.”

Fans have been increasingly scathing in their criticism of manager Paul Lambert and owner Marcus Evans over the last few months and Mills has no problem with that.

“After every game, everybody has got the right to give their opinion,” the 72-year-old former Town and England captain said. “You’ve got to watch it and then make your assessment. 

“I see nothing wrong with people coming on [the radio and giving their thoughts]. If they’ve watched the game and they haven’t seen what they want to see, don’t come on and say ‘Oh well, let’s give the manager time after time after time’. 

“If they don’t like what they see then they’ve got to say that. A little bit of pressure doesn’t go amiss. I don’t think you’ve got to give people an easy ride whatsoever, that’s inclusive of everybody concerned at the club.

“Don’t give the players an easy ride, don’t give the manager an easy ride, don’t give the coaches an easy ride and don’t give the owner an easy ride because it’s not an easy-ozey game, this is serious stuff, this is professional football and this club is supported by a vast number of people that really care about it.

“I’ve nothing against people coming on and being annoyed, they’ve every right to be annoyed because this is truly dragging its feet now.

“I even made a comment early in the game that what pleased me was that we weren’t looking the inferior side from the start of the game like we have on many occasions when the opposition get their game going best of all.

“That’s such a little thing to expect, to play at home and as soon as that first whistle goes, you should look to pin the opposition back in their own half and you really say to them ‘Right, you’ve made the long journey down here, you feel uncomfortable about this fixture to start with, I’m going to make you feel uncomfortable for the next 90 minutes as well’.

“Have that sort of attitude, that sort of determination, that sort of feeling going through your body. 

“But here we were today saying, ‘I like this opening spell because we’re not actually the inferior side’.

“The standards have dropped too much and we’ve got to put pressure on people to raise the standards again because otherwise if you don’t put pressure on people it will just drag and drag along and everybody subconsciously will think ‘Oh, everybody is quite happy with what has happening’.

“People are not happy, we need to get out of this division, we need to be better than Peterborough, we need to be better than Lincoln City.

“These are teams that we’d left behind by an absolute mile years ago, but now they are our equal. So we’ve got to get this show on the road, we really have. 

“The game lacked life. OK, we weren’t behind Peterborough but we mustn’t judge ourselves by the opposition all the time. We’ve got to judge our own game - what do you expect from your own team?

“If Peterborough were going to come here and play to the standard they did, we should be above that and say ’Right, thank goodness we’ve met you on a bad day, right we’re going to make you suffer now’, not just run along with it and be as good as them, we’ve got to be better than them.

“It’s just dragging along too much for me, it really is. But there is a lot of time left, there are a lot of points to play for and the one thing about this division this year [is that a lot of teams are still in touching distance].

“Some time ago I said that the right teams had started off well this season and that I was absolutely sure that six of the top eight will be involved in the promotion positions, that was without many games being played.

“And before today’s game, only one of that eight had dropped out of the top eight and that was Sunderland, the team that you didn’t expect to come out and Crewe had gone into that situation.

“The right teams did get off to the right start but it’s not just Ipswich, none of them have really sort of really motored on, none of them have really said ‘Right, we’ve got the start we wanted, now we are really going to drive on well and leave everybody behind. It hasn’t happened.

“There are a lot of teams still in touching distance, so when you look at our position, we had that good start, we haven’t performed very well for a long period of time, but we’re still in touch, so if only it could be ignited, even now, we could get ourselves into a really good position and have a say in the promotion spots at the end of it, but we’ve got to do it.

“Those two who have come in this week [Josh Harrop and Luke Thomas], let’s not start hanging our hats on those two lads because it’s totally unfair. 

“They’re two lads who have been available because they haven’t quite done the business at the clubs that own them, so they’re not coming here in absolutely perfect condition and yet already we’re starting to say ‘The lad Thomas looked really good today’, I’ve even said it, but we shouldn't be relying on people that are coming in this month to really ignite the season. Help us, but don’t be the mainstays of it.”

Meanwhile, on-loan Blues trio Janoi Donacien, Adam Przybek and Corrie Ndaba made their debuts for Fleetwood, Chesterfield and Ayr United respectively yesterday.

Donacien was picked as man of the match as the Cod Army drew 1-1 at Wigan Athletic, while keeper Przybek helped the National League Spireites to a 2-1 home victory over Wrexham

Defender Ndaba had had to wait a while for his debut due to postponements but helped the Honest Men to a clean sheet as they drew 0-0 at Dunfermline with the Irish U21 call-up operating at his secondary position of left-back.

Photo: Action Images

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bluemay77 added 11:57 - Jan 24
Mick you are right in everything you've said

galacticoblue added 11:58 - Jan 24
Perfect summary Mick

Farmerpiles added 12:03 - Jan 24
If only ME took advice like this from Mick and others, instead of Harry Redknap and Barry Fry. I know, zero chance he'll read this. Lambert out.

Cloddyseedbed added 12:06 - Jan 24
10 out of 10 Mick. You realise what this club means to a still huge fanbase for the division we find ourselves. Not because we are rubbish fans and keep complaining but because we don't like to see our club going downhill so fast and being badly run since the arrival of Marcus Evans. Managers have all been given a chance but have all failed badly for maybe the common denominator in the owner. We are stuck between a rock and a hard place with Evans as our owner. I can only see us staying in this league with continued inept performances or worse continuing to go down the leagues. Evans is now not the right owner for this club but we can't get rid of him. Lambert and his coaches are not going to get us out of this league but the owner won't/can't relieve them of their duties. The players we have are obviously not motivated by the management team and are the injury crisis I feel has a lot to do with how the club is run and the players feelings towards it. What a flaming mess. Mick Mills you are spot on and I praise you for having the guts to come out and say it. Your statement alone has far more clout than supporters feelings on TWTD's.

WhoisJimmyJuan added 12:12 - Jan 24
Yep spot on MM. My view for what its worth would be dismiss Lambo, let either Nash and Klug or Dyer and Butcher run the 1stvteam on a caretaker basis until the summer at least. Then clear out the dead wood, like Chambers, Huws, Skuse. I would let the younger players play out the rest of the season without pressure. I might be way off with this view, but then we are way off anyway.

MickMillsTash added 12:15 - Jan 24
MILLS knows it, the supporters know it, the players know it

warktheline added 12:21 - Jan 24
Spot on Mick.....unfortunately so many muppets on here really can’t see it!

Pencilpete added 12:23 - Jan 24
Everybody knows it other than the clown making the decisions.

Even Russell Osman criticised the 'style' on Twitter the other day.

But Lambert thinks we're great and Marcus Evans has found the biggest bucket of sand he can and has stuck his head right in it.

Sadly, we are all stuck with this scenario for the foreseeable

BeattiesBackPocket added 12:23 - Jan 24
Owner state’s ‘be careful what you wish for’ when fans want lambert out, ‘improving as a club’ then we have an ex legend of the club telling it how it is how much our club has declined that some on here are happy with a win against burton or how we should’ve got a draw at home against Peterborough. Think where we was even only twenty years ago most wins in the premier league away from home that season with 9 wins, finished above Chelsea, 3 points from a champions league spot yes we got relegated we went into administration but joe Royle saw us through that and we still competed for the play offs then magilton came in we were out of administration and we still challenge around the playoffs albeit losing approx 2.7 million a season then evans comes in and boom! Look at us now fans happy we’ve beaten burton Albion away or Crewe at home, players coming off smiling and laughing after losing at home to Swindon what’s happened to our club!??? And the apathy from fans?? An ex player has come out now and said it’s not good enough I just hope some fans will start to get behind the calls for the owner to come out answer some proper not pre agreed questions stop hiding behind a 5 point plan we cannot implement mainly due to the category two status of our youth set up which again was an initial mistake by Evans when he had the chance when it was formed come out answer some questions tell us what he is going to do or bugg@r off and sell!! People can go on about no buyers but we have had 4 other buyers that we know about and that’s without it being up for sale!

Blue_75 added 12:24 - Jan 24
Spot on assessment!

itsonlyme added 12:25 - Jan 24
The legend knows it and says it. Shame he couldn’t buy out the club.

Marinersnose added 12:29 - Jan 24
MM imo is always extremely fair and accurate in his assessment of the team and individuals. Again he is spot on. This isn’t a quick fix by getting rid of PL as ME has the financial control and therefore overall control of the manager and his buying and selling of players. PL has to go and for me many of the squad should go also as they a4e having too much impact on the team selection. It was the same under McCarthy. We need a manager with no sentiment who picks the strongest team and not good old boys who like to say yes. For me this clear out was needed two seasons ago. It saddens me to see the club in such severe turmoil

blueboy1981 added 12:30 - Jan 24
Watch your back Mick - or you’ll be the next banned from Portman Road, for not being a ‘nodding dog’.

There’s excuse after excuse from Lambert - any decent Manager would shape this squad up, irrespective of injuries, etc; - which is the same excuse season, after season, as if we are the only Club in the world to suffer.
Evidence is there, game after game, that Lambert hasn’t a clue.
Time to go Lambert - no more excuses !!

aas1010 added 12:31 - Jan 24
Must be heartbreaking to see his club being treated like this . And too all off us too . Lambert out ASAP or we’ll be like T. rex Gone for good !!! Wake up Evans sack him now today not tomorrow. Get someone in who knows the club the fans the town and let us enjoy football again and put IPSWICH and Suffolk back on the map like 78 and 81 ! Bring back the glory days ! If not you Evans someone who cares about the club !😭

Cloddyseedbed added 12:31 - Jan 24
WhoisJimmyJuan. Butcher and Dyer and Mick Mills given an advisory role at the club for me is the way forward on a crap budget that will be handed to any manager from Evans. Klug does not like being kept given the care taker role and has no plans to move into management, he told me that when I met him just after the last time he did it. I also agree that Chambers, (as much as I like the man off the pitch) Skuse and Huws need to be removed from the squad next season. We need a management team with a connection and passion for our club and a desire to get us back to where a club with our facilities should be.

90z added 12:32 - Jan 24
Would you believe it.. Donacien gets motm performance for fleetwood and we are stuck with a 35 year old right back who cant defend! Lambert out !

jas0999 added 12:34 - Jan 24
Quite right and at every other club the manager would have been sacked.

Michael101 added 12:34 - Jan 24
Think Mr mills will be banned from Tuesday night's game.the powers that be don't like to hear the truth.

CrockerITFC added 12:36 - Jan 24

leftie1972 added 12:41 - Jan 24
And Donacien gets MoM! What a surprise!

chopra777 added 12:44 - Jan 24
100% correct assessment. After winning the UEFA cup we started to fall apart in the eighties but we found a winning formula with Burley eventually, we have a bigger mountain to climb. After Covid why cannot we grow again.

Lightningboy added 12:44 - Jan 24
Spot on Mick.

The slow decline has gone on since Evans took over - the owner understands nothing about this club or football..the best thing he could do right now is put somebody like Burley or Mills in as Director of football , get rid of Lambert & his ineffective coaching team and use the rest of this season to sort things out in time for next season (how many times must we keep saying that?!)

If I could click my fingers i’d have Magilton back as manager but that’s not going to happen - to me the obvious choice are the Cowleys.

WonTheCupin78 added 12:44 - Jan 24
Donacien was apparently superb on his debut.
But not good enough for us.

martin587 added 12:49 - Jan 24
Absolutely spot on Mick.We need people with your football experience to speak out about the dire situation we are in.

bobbyramsey added 12:58 - Jan 24
Well said Mick...

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