Fuller Flavour: Just look at all the clubs overtaking us – I’m jealous

David McGoldrick with a first half chance saved at Sheffield United. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD

David McGoldrick with a first half chance saved at Sheffield United. Picture: PAGEPIX LTD - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

The 2017/18 honeymoon period is well and truly over, the bubble has burst, normal service has resumed. Our beloved Ipswich are dropping back to where they belong – mid-table at best...

Before the above was written, I sat and looked long and hard at a blank canvas of a word document wondering where to begin. I’ve been down this road so many times now in the past year. I even considered just recycling a column from any point of last season but did not want to do myself, my editor or those of you still sticking with me a disservice.

That’s six defeats in eight games now and the feel-good factor that had been created with five straight wins at the start of the season has well and truly evaporated. From what I’ve read and heard, we didn’t deserve anything on Saturday. Some say no disgrace in defeat and Sheffield United had to work hard for their win. Well what happened to us working hard to win at Barnsley or Millwall or even at home to Brentford and Bolton? The answer to that is plainly obvious in that none of those sides are/were above us in the table and this is where we are miles away from being a side that will really challenge the top six.

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Saturday’s defeat was almost predictable which is another common trait from last season – it’s the predictability that kills you. Almost as predictable are Mick’s post-match comments. Another bad goal given away (a recurring theme that we cannot eradicate from our game) and the opposition are a good side who he expects to finish the season in the play-offs. There will be around fifteen sides in those play-offs at this rate.

We can debate all we like about who gets chosen to play in the side. My gripe this week is how did Dominic Iorfa get picked ahead of Jordan Spence? I can ask that question all week and it won’t change anything. Again, Mick matched up to Sheffield United rather than giving them something to think about and the majority of the time, this doesn’t work. So when will we be the side to try something different?

• Give your Town player ratings after loss at Sheffield United

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Before Saturday’s game, I was watching a video on social media of a previous game against Sheffield United. You know the one. The game where Pablo Counago got sent-off and we went 2-0 down before winning 3-2. Ok, this was one of those rare occasions that you don’t see too much of. But what you would see in that video is a side that you could feel connected to, a side with passion which transitioned itself into the crowd, Just look at the numbers and the ecstasy of our fans revelling in a victory that was clawed from the jaws of defeat. You just don’t see those days at Portman Road now.

• Mick McCarthy reacts to Town’s defeat at Bramall Lane

The life has been sucked out of the terraces. Fans have given up on season tickets, fans have given up on the club and we cannot even sell-out a derby game these days. Results are the main cause but followed closely behind are performances. We’ve drifted into mediocracy.

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We’ve had to accept in the not too distant past falling behind the likes of Stoke, West Brom, Southampton, Leicester and Crystal Palace. But these are clubs we battled with in our halcyon days of the late 70’s and early 80’s. More recently, we’ve had to watch the likes of Bournemouth, Burnley and Huddersfield overtake us and now we’re falling behind the likes of Bristol City, Cardiff and Sheffield United. I am jealous of their benefactors who are passionate, have clear plans and offer their fanbase real hope and enjoyment.

In the meantime, we’re rooted to a position of stagnation and with no real idea of when this drab period of supporting Ipswich will come to an end. If only I/we didn’t care so much hey.

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If I wasn’t feeling miserable enough about ITFC life at present, we’ve got the small matter of a derby game up next and I’m really not looking forward to it.

Earlier in the season, I relished the prospect of facing them as it appeared that our best chance of beating them for the first time in years was on the horizon. I stopped short at all this ’mind the gap’ business when we were eight points ahead though.

I enjoy the banter as much as the next bloke, but I’ve also seen enough football to realise when to keep quiet. What goes around comes around and we go into Sunday’s game now behind them in the table.

I’ve not seen us beat them since the 5-0 win when Alex Mathie scored a hat-trick. To say a win both for me and in general is long overdue is a massive understatement.

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