Fuller Flavour: Fans are returning to Ipswich Town, we just need to be patient
Just two more games to go folks, two more and we can draw a line under yet another nondescript season, which is ending with some hope for the future but in desperate need of new leadership, writes Karl Fuller.
The final score sadly punctured the atmosphere of what had otherwise been a fine afternoon that for yours truly started with a nice cold glass of cider whilst sat in the beer garden of the Brantham Bull pub overlooking the River Stour.
There have been countless times over the many years of supporting Ipswich that I have enjoyed fine company in the pub prior to the game and I’ve questioned whether we really had to go to the game or not knowing that only the match could spoil the afternoon.
I could have happily retained my position sitting in the sun necking ciders for the rest of the afternoon. But ultimately, it’s the football that is the reason for the pub trip in the first place, so regrettably, we had to leave our position – at least for our next refreshment stop at the Black Horse pub. The day was now having a similar feel to it that was felt when Newcastle were in town last season.
Town fans were enjoying basking in the sun looking forward to one of the division’s bigger clubs to pit our wits against and we all dreamt of a similar result too.
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I had one nagging thought constantly recycling in my mind all the while and that was the fact that in their last three away games, Aston Villa had lost at Bolton and Norwich and drawn at Hull. Sadly, I felt that there was no way we could add to their woes. I don’t know why, it’s just how I felt.
I obviously hoped for a different outcome, but as we’ve learnt so often in the past couple of years, it’s the hope that kills you.
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A decent crowd of over 20,000, well supplemented by Villa fans of course, got behind the boys and stuck with them – even at 4-0.
This shows that we have the foundations of a decent support base to build from as we look to start a new chapter in our history. Lots of fans who vowed to return once a change was made, have put their money where their mouths are.
The level of singing in the lower Sir Bobby Robson stand at the end of the game was commendable. Yes, we took a hiding, but it was one of those hiding to nothing situations.
Villa’s first goal had an element of fortune attached to it and the sending-off of Grant Ward had divisive opinions as to whether or not it was the correct decision. But we’re used to fans with dividing opinions and how much it changed the game, we’ll probably never know. It’s fair to say that from therein, the game really was men against boys.
It was another occasion that we’ve become accustomed to whereby there was no first-half home goal, just the one shot on target and long periods of the game without the ball.
However, Bryan Klug really is in a situation with nothing to lose. We’re seeing youngsters given a chance which is something we’ve wanted more of and Bryan is just holding things together until the new man comes in.
To say that we have nothing to play for though would be wrong. Personally, I still want to see us finish above Norwich and I don’t want to see us lose all four games under Bryan’s leadership.
Apart from not wanting that for him, I don’t want the lingering comments of being careful what we wish for to have more weight behind that particular argument.
There is something that can be built upon, we’ve just got to be patient for a little while longer. In the meantime, I look forward to more afternoons in the sun drinking cider until August.