Hamilton: Town have all the ingredients for success – now it’s about consistency
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Ipswich Town have proven how good they can be – now they need to produce on a regular basis.
That’s the opinion of former Blues star Bryan Hamilton as he reflects on the club’s start to the 2017/18 campaign during this international break.
Mick McCarthy’s men have won six and lost four of their opening 10 Championship games and sit eighth in the table with a game in hand on most.
There have already been highs and lows, with a thumping 5-2 midweek win against struggling Sunderland under the Portman Road lights swiftly followed by a limp 3-1 home loss to high-flying Bristol City last weekend.
“All the ingredients are there in this Ipswich squad – both in terms of ability and character,” said Hamilton, the former Northern Ireland midfielder and boss a regular at Portman Road.
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“The performance against Sunderland was outstanding. There was plenty of spark and excitement. It had almost everything you’d want.
“That was the same with the (3-1) home win against Newcastle back in Easter. Those games gave us all hope and inspiration. They were displays which show the heights this team is capable of reaching.
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“Now they just need to produce that more often than not because the true measure of a team is how consistently they can perform well, both collectively and individually.
“I remember Bill Shankly told me that he always judged players over 12 matches. If they played well in three or four then they were Fourth Division quality, if they played well in five or six then they were Third Division, if it was seven or eight then they belonged in the Second Division, if it was nine or 10 then they were First Division class and if it was 11 or 12 then they were good enough for Liverpool.
“That was the rule I ended up taking into management myself. It’s not about how good can you can be on any given day, but how frequently you can produce that level of performance.”
With a tough-looking run of fixtures coming up – Sheffield United (a), Norwich (h), Burton (a) and Cardiff (a) – Hamilton added: “Results have been better than performances. Mick has been honest as ever and knows exactly where his side is at.
“This league is much of a muchness though and we might end up raising our game for the so-called harder matches.”