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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.

Ipswich Town head to local rivals Colchester United tonight, as the Blues’ preparations for the new Championship season step up a notch.

The best young female footballers in the region will be coming to Ipswich Town as the club saw off strong competition from other teams to partner the Football Association and host the FA Women’s U21 East Region Academy.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy is confident he will have a striker signed before his side’s Championship opener against Birmingham City, at Portman Road, in just 11 days’ time.

Scorelines may not matter during pre-season, but the manner of performances and the attitudes of players in friendlies, such as tonight’s at Colchester United, do. Chris Brammer looks ahead ​to the game in Essex.

Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers knows his place in the team is not guaranteed this season.

Ipswich Town lost 2-1 at League One side Gillingham on Saturday. Stuart Watson looks at what we learned from the first set-back of pre-season...

Ipswich Town players will proudly carry the crest of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) on their back this coming season.

The no.9 shirt at Ipswich Town has been left vacant after the Blues announced their squad numbers this morning, while Mauritian midfielder Kevin Bru has not been handed a number.

Whisper it quietly, but Ipswich Town may just be a bit easier on the eye this season.

Ipswich Town legend Ray Crawford says summer signing Joe Garner will be full of confidence following his prolific pre-season form.

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