After a cracking season of Championship Football for East Anglia’s two leading sides, the Sky Bet Championship Playoffs proved to be a collection of mixed fortunes for Ipswich Town and Norwich City Football Club’s respectively.
Close But No Cigar For Mick McCarthy’s Tractor Boys
It was a big year for Ipswich Town who entertained the Portman Road faithful with one of their most exciting seasons in recent memories. Making a big step up from mid table after a close relegation escape a couple of years ago, Mick McCarthy led the team to the top of the table and an eventual sixth place finish seeing Ipswich Town in the playoffs for the first time in 10 years.
Coming up against local rivals Norwich City, Ipswich came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw at Portman Road, setting up an all or nothing encounter at Carrow Road. Unfortunately for Ipswich a red card for defender Christophe Berra lead to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Norwich, but fans will be buoyed by the team’s impressive performance ready for another run at the Premier League promotion next season.
A Swift Return For the Canaries
After relegation to the Championship and a poor start to the 2014/15 season, leading to the sacking of manager, Neil Adams, Norwich fans could have been forgiven for thinking that it wasn’t their year. But following the appointment of Alex Neil, the fortunes of the Norfolk club changed dramatically.
After defeating Ipswich Town in the playoff quarter finals, Norwich met Middlesbrough in the Playoff Final at Wembley. A lightning start to the tie saw Norwich roll out as easy 2-0 winners, with goals from top scorer, Cameron Jerome and Nathan Redmond, securing promotion to the Premier League, a prize worth over £130million to the club. With the new season approaching, fans will be looking to see how Alex Neil will strengthen his squad.
It was a season of mixed fortunes for East Anglian clubs, and an exciting one at that. The fast approaching 2015/16 season looks like it may be even more so.