Comment: Don’t just assume everything will be alright – Ipswich Town fans, your club needs you
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
A crowd of more than 22,000 is expected at Portman Road tonight when Ipswich Town host West Brom in a televised Championship clash (7.45pm ko). STUART WATSON gives his thoughts.
Ipswich Town fans – your club needs you more than ever before.
It feels to me that too many are still thinking, even on a sub-conscious level, that everything will be alright.
Make no mistake though, the odds are not in our favour.
Rock-bottom and five points adrift of safety after 17 games – the stark reality is that no-one has ever survived from this position in Championship history.
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Since the turn of the century, just two teams have beaten the drop after being bottom at this stage – Norwich in 2007/08 and Doncaster in 08/09. And both were one point better off than Town currently are at the same juncture.
Some have fallen valiantly short in the battle. More have ended up miles adrift. Those are the cold, hard facts.
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Please do interpret the above as unnecessary negativity. Please do not interpret it as flying directly in the face of Paul Lambert avoiding the ‘r’ word and boldly proclaiming five points is ‘nothing’.
I do, absolutely, believe that Town can stay up under his leadership.
The experienced Scot is a force of nature. He has sought advice from those who know this club inside out, he 100% gets how the club has been sleepwalking into this current predicament and has rapidly set about finding short and long-term remedies.
In less than a month he has galvanised the players and fans. The improvement in performance levels for his first two games has been vast. There is renewed confidence and belief.
I was fortune enough to have spent some time in his company earlier this week. I felt the energy and drive. But one man’s energy and drive might not be enough. Eleven men’s energy and drive on the pitch might not be enough. That’s where you all come in.
A crowd in excess of 22,000 is expected at Portman Road for tonight’s televised game against West Brom. That’s to support a team that’s won just twice at home this calender year. Ticket offer or not, that’s remarkable.
Let’s not get complacent though. Do not turn up with a passive mind-set. Don’t wait for the first big tackle, run or shot to get you off your seats. Bring the noise and help the boys because they need it. Be supporters in the true sense of the word.
I know exactly why the atmosphere has been so apathetic in recent years. I’ve seen the same games you have. But the players are enjoying themselves again and so should you.
You may have noticed I wrote ‘our’ earlier. Forgive the slip in objectivity. Bigger picture concerns can go under the microscope further down the line. Right now we’re all in this together.