On the back of five successive away defeats, Wanderers went into the game as underdogs against the promotion chasing Tractor Boys who, under the supervision of former Sunderland and Wolverhampton Wanderers boss McCarthy had themselves been on a relatively poor run.
As is his wont, Wanderers manager Neil Lennon made several changes, including bringing in former Ipswich midfielder Liam Trotter and most surprisingly of all, on-loan Portuguese youngster Rochinha for his debut. The diminutive Benfica man had been signed by Lennon at the end of January, though who knows why it took so long for him to appear in a white shirt.
The game itself ended in defeat for Bolton, as you no doubt already know, with familiar concerns emanating from those fans who made the trek to Portman Road. Tales told of missed chances, poor performances and a worrying lack of on-field leadership.
According to reports, Wanderers actually played reasonably well. The aforementioned Rochinha was praised by many due to his attacking instincts and crisp passing. Friend of the site, Marc Iles of the BEN, indeed reported how the player 'almost' scored a wonderful goal in the first half, shooting narrowly wide from the edge of the box.
The trouble came in the form of our attacking cutting edge. Craig Davies returned from his latest injury and led the line with his usual tenacity, but also showed his usual lack of finishing prowess with one particular miss towards the end drawing the ire of fans who wondered if our fortunes would have been different if Adam Le Fondre had been on the pitch instead of resting at home ahead of the Wigan Athletic game this weekend.
Ipswich got the winner through Jay Tabb in the 79th minute, as he latched on to Daryl Murphy's cross and fired past Ben Amos. That's about all I have to say about that.
Lennon has a big job on his hands this summer. I foresee big changes at Bolton Wanderers. It's about time.
Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy:
"I was anxious and apprehensive watching - I'm sure most Ipswich fans were. There are nine games left and we still have a chance of being promoted. It is not going to be silky, free-flowing football without nerves.
"They had a lot of chances, as did we, but they were profligate in front of goal and we score through Tabby, that's all that matters.
"I kept the same team tonight and Bolton were no mugs. But we kept a clean sheet and we won."
Bolton manager Neil Lennon:
"We should have been home and hosed by half time, but that is endemic of our season away from home. You can't miss gilt-edged chances like we did against a good side.
"We had a great chance to win it at the end [through Davies] but we are left scratching our heads.
"We put out a young side and rested a few players. In Rochinha, we had the outstanding footballer on the pitch and it was just a shame he couldn't score in the first half with one of the goals of the season.
"The league table doesn't lie but a club like this shouldn't be where it is. Some of the senior players have a weak mentality but I can't do anything about that until the end of the season when we will still be hopefully in the Championship."