Feel the feelgood factor

IT ECHOED through the fast-emptying stands, floated in the air through the tunnel-like exits under the Cobbold Stand, and in the packed club shop, where stewards operated a “one-in, one-out” system such was the demand, you could almost smell it.

IT ECHOED through the fast-emptying stands, floated in the air through the tunnel-like exits under the Cobbold Stand, and in the packed club shop, where stewards operated a “one-in, one-out” system such was the demand, you could almost smell it.

It lurked between every line of Joe Royle's post-match comments, clung to the mist over the Orwell and danced in the light of the floodlights.

Yes, the feelgood factor was everywhere at Portman Road on Saturday.

People chortled at the Norwich result, clapped when they heard West Ham had been humbled at home by Brighton, and cheered to the rafters when the Wigan score came through - but most of all they revelled in the scene in front of them, as the Blues hugged each other on the pitch, high-fiving their way back to the dressing room.


You may also want to watch:


The script used to read as such: Town entice large crowd in with promise of goals, victory and general greatness, big crowd turns up, hands over cash, and leaves disillusioned after morale-crushing late goal/penalty miss catastrophe.

Now I won't pretend it was anything remotely resembling a classic on Saturday - it was the inevitable war of attrition for long parts - but it's hard to put into words how important it was to beat Leeds, and we did it.

Most Read

If you wanted a pointer though, the roar which greeted the final whistle was as loud as the one which followed Darren Bent's goal, and all round the stands people embraced, punched the air and rubbed their chapped hands together. This was a massive result.

In the previous seven wins fans have got used to Town bossing the game, dominating the possession and carving out chance after chance, but this was a totally different type of test.

Leeds probably shaded the first half in terms of possession, and it was an afternoon where we had to stand up to them first, before getting our passing game going.

After the interval, first-time balls and overlaps replaced the graft and grind of the first 45. Bent came out a different player, and the introduction of Dean Bowditch changed the look and performance of the attack. At times, we are a joy to watch going forward when he's on the pitch.

But another clean sheet needs to be acknowledged (that's three out of four) and it took a super-human effort against an attack which hit four in its previous away match.

Perhaps it suited him dealing with an attack that was based around the aerial threat of Brian Deane, but Richard Naylor was imperious at the back, so much so that I expected Sven-Goran Eriksson to pencil him in as a late call-up for the friendly in Spain this week.

One player who did once get linked to an England call-up was Jermaine Wright, and as good as Naylor's afternoon was, our former midfielder's return was a personal nightmare.

Barracked every time he got the ball, booked and substituted in the second half, Jamma might have reflected on the irony that when he was playing for Town, cracking in long-range stunners and bossing the midfield (now and then) he never had his own song, but he did on Saturday, and it wasn't one he'll hum in the shower.

But while Wright may feel bad, we feel good. We knew that we would.

steve.mellen@eadt.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus