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Monday verdict: First big step towards ending the apathy at Ipswich Town

PUBLISHED: 08:00 16 January 2017

Tom Lawrence, team-mates and fans in the North Stand celebrate the loanee's second goal of the game against Blackburn. Photo: James Ager

Tom Lawrence, team-mates and fans in the North Stand celebrate the loanee's second goal of the game against Blackburn. Photo: James Ager

James Ager

Could this be the turning point in Ipswich Town’s stuttering season?

There have been plenty of false dawns, but Saturday’s 3-2 home win over Blackburn Rovers gives genuine cause for hope.

The Blues were frozen into passivity when facing non-league side Lincoln City in the FA Cup Third Round and rightly faced criticism. It therefore took balls to follow that up with a bold, brave, entertaining performance in a high-pressure match seven days later.

Tom Lawrence could soon claim Giovani Dos Santo’s crown as the club’s greatest-ever loan player if his sensational form continues. The Welsh international’s breathtaking 30-yard strike, albeit with the help of the slightest of deflections, raised the roof. Enjoy the Leicester man while you can because he’ll be playing in the Premier League next season.

Mick McCarthy could have reverted to type with a safety-first approach in the search for a stabilising clean sheet. Instead, he went with wing-backs and a personnel whose balance was tipped more towards guile than grit. Nine shots on target was the result.

Two typically sloppy goals were conceded as Town made life unnecessarily difficult for themselves, and far tougher tests undoubtedly lie ahead, but both manager and players deserve tremendous credit.

Perhaps it was captain Luke Chambers’ brutally honest pre-match press conference that made a difference? His home truths may just have forced team-mates to stand up and be counted. His straight-talking may also have played a part in what was a far more positive atmosphere too.

Wary of dwindling attendances, Town wrote to stayaway supporters offering half price tickets for this game last week. Those that took up the promotion saw more than enough to tempt them back.

This was a big first step towards ending apathy and reunification. Now it’s vital to take another step in the right direction with a televised Cup win at Lincoln tomorrow night and some transfer business.

Former Ipswich Town player Georges Santos joined Andy Warren for a special edition of the Kings of Anglia Podcast.

Joe Garner turned home to finish off a superb Ipswich Town move as the Blues rescued a draw at Bolton.

Town fan Karl Fuller looks back at Town’s draw at Bolton and why one of Mick McCarthy’s after-match comments was not needed

The answer to the question Mick McCarthy posed after his side’s 1-1 draw at Bolton is undoubtedly ‘no’.

Terry Hunt says a feeling of togetherness between fans and the club appears a million miles away at Portman Road right now.

Player watch: It’s fair to say Ipswich Town’s two Friday signings split opinion when they were unveiled.

Ipswich Town drew a scrappy Championship match 1-1 at Bolton Wanderers this afternoon. STUART WATSON gives his snap observations.

Joe Garner netted an 82nd equaliser as Town draw 1-1 with Bolton at the Macron Stadium.

- Here is the selection of tweets from Town fans

How impressed and who had more to give? Andy Warren hands out his player grades after Town’s 1-1 draw at Bolton.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy admitted that this afternoon’s scrappy 1-1 draw at Bolton Wanderers was ‘the worst game I’ve seen for a long time’.

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