Northstander: Filthy weather, scrappy goal, but who cares? We won! However, the maths still don't look great
PUBLISHED: 10:18 16 December 2018 | UPDATED: 10:18 16 December 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
At last Northstander Terry Hunt has an Ipswich Town home victory to savour... Now it's time to build on that.
Yes, the weather was filthy, the game was ugly, and the goal was scrappy. But that doesn’t matter one little bit. The all-important thing was the win.
How good it felt to cheer Chambo’s fist pump and then leave the stadium with three points in the bag.
We deserved it. Of course, we still lack quality all over the pitch, but at least we’re playing with passion since Lambert’s arrival. And that commitment can carry a team a long way.
I was very pleased for the manager, getting his first win at the seventh attempt. Good to see him shepherding the whole team to salute the Sir Bobby Robson stand, and then giving us a wave himself. He really does know how important the fans will be in this survival battle. What a contrast to McCarthy!
So, a very happy Saturday afternoon at Portman Road, and they’ve been in very short supply in 2018. That was only our third home win in this calendar year – and I missed one of them!
But the result against Wigan will be pretty meaningless unless we build on it. That means getting a result against Sheffield United next Saturday, when David McGoldrick makes his return to Portman Road. They’re a quality side, and I’d be happy with a draw.
Let’s keep things in perspective. Wigan looked pretty dreadful, and were there for the taking.
Mind you, we haven’t been able to take advantage against other decidedly mediocre teams. For the rest of the season, if we are to survive, we will need to see off all the so-so sides like Wigan.
So, can we stay up?
Let’s look at the maths first. On average, you need 47 points to survive in the Championship. To reach that total, we need 33 points from our remaining 24 games. That would need a turnaround of huge proportions. Something like nine wins and six draws. It seems unlikely but, of course, it is possible.
There’s something else that doesn’t seem to get mentioned much, probably because it’s an uncomfortable truth.
Sorry to be a party pooper, but our biggest problem – as it’s been all season – is a desperate lack of quality in every department. We’re just not very good.
Somehow, Lambert has to sort that out if we are not to be playing our football in League One next season.
The challenge is this.
Lambert needs to identify the players he feels can make the difference from January. It sounds like he’s already done that.
He then needs to persuade Marcus Evans to invest in his targets. Finally, he has to get the wanted players to agree that moving to Ipswich is good for their careers. Even if we’re still bottom of the league come the beginning of 2019, which is entirely possible.
Lambert will need all his positivity and powers of persuasion to pull that one off. I wish him every success, because there’s no doubt that we need an influx of reinforcements. Experienced players who know their way round the Championship. Seasoned campaigners who fit in instantly and are able to bring out the best in our younger players.
First and foremost, we need a goal scorer.
Sears is doing a good job, but who else is going to score a goal? Of course, everyone is desperate to find themselves someone who can hit the back of net.
Which makes Lambert’s challenge in the January transfer window even tougher.
Before we even get to the window, we need to win at least a couple of games to move closer to the rest of the strugglers. The most encouraging aspect is their collectively wretched form. We are the only team in the bottom six with a win in our last six games – and that came on Saturday.
In all honesty, in reality I can’t see us getting out of this mess.
But the win was oh, so welcome. Let’s hope it signals the start of a remarkable recovery.