Monday verdict: First big step towards ending the apathy at Ipswich Town
PUBLISHED: 08:00 16 January 2017
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.