Blues face battle to avoid their lowest league finish for 55 years
WE deserve more.
That was the undeniable message emanating out of Portman Road on Saturday after only a sparse number of Super Blues stayed behind for the traditional lap of appreciation.
The players, humbled by the Lions of Millwall 3-0, sheepishly did a length of the pitch with only a minority in all four corners of the ground staying behind.
In those two minutes, it perfectly summed up the underwhelming and largely unforgettable nature of the 2011/12 campaign.
Saturday’s defeat, which came after a dire 90 minutes against a resurgent Millwall, keeps Ipswich in 15th in the Championship but with a real danger of finishing 17th – their lowest end-of-season position for 55 years – if they lose at relegated Doncaster next Saturday.
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It was little surprise that sections of the Sir Bobby Robson Stand chanted ‘Evans, sort it out’ and then ‘Evans, show your face,’ as fans directed their season-long anger at Town’s reclusive owner Marcus Evans.
On the balance of Saturday, Paul Jewell faces a long summer as he looks to mould a winning mentality into his team and end the desperate inconsistency that has blighted their season.
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While at times they have shone against the best sides in the second tier, only bottom club Doncaster and Peterborough have conceded more, with 75 goals shipped in 45 games.
It is little wonder the players were booed off at the end of Millwall’s accomplished win, before the rather awkward lap of appreciation.
Skipper Carlos Edwards admitted: “It was always going to be tough. As much as you don’t want to do it, you have to as it is the fans who have supported us throughout the season.
“It was the last home game and the players wanted to give the fans something to smile about. There is also pride at stake.
“But doing the lap left a sour taste in our mouths after a 3-0 loss.”
To make matters even worse, Coventry City’s 2-0 home defeat to Doncaster saw the Sky Blues relegated and condemned Ipswich to the unwanted tag of longest serving Championship club.