Feels so good for Town
IPSWICH TOWN: What a difference a week makes with Roy Keane proving he has what it takes to lift the Blues skywards with a six-point Bank Holiday Championship haul.
Town followed up Saturday’s 2-1 home victory over Reading with a comprehensive 3-1 win at Pride Park, Derby yesterday afternoon to see Ipswich hop like an Easter bunny out of relegation danger and to 13th place – their highest of the season.
On top of capturing maximum points, Keane’s weekend was boosted by a wonderful display yesterday by the rapidly emerging Connor Wickham who celebrated the signing of a new Town contract with a superb stoppage time goal and a tremendous assist for Carlos Edwards nine minutes earlier. Gareth McAuley had given Ipswich a fourth minute lead.
If you believed what you read in certain publications Keane was one defeat from the sack this time last week.
This was denied by the Ipswich hierarchy – as you would expect – but if there were any doubts about the long term security of Keane’s Portman Road tenure this has now surely been removed.
The rank and file fans are without doubt behind him, and others who may have been having doubts after a mainly frustrating and disappointing season will be in much more positive mood after these two Easter results.
Central defender Damien Delaney has played his part in Ipswich’s revival with a succession of dominant displays beside Gareth McAuley, and he summed up the mood in the Town camp when he said:
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“It felt really good.
“It was a professional away performance yesterday and although we are not getting carried away hopefully better times lie ahead.
“Confidence has been building and to go to a place like Pride Park and play so well is a good sign for the future.
“The manager said it would take some time and since he came in he has changed things completely at the club to put it back on track.
“Slowly but surely it’s been coming, and with four games left we now want to finish on a high.
“And then we can come back pre-season and look forward to it.
“I dare not look at the table to be honest, but I believe we haven’t quite reached the top half yet.”
Delaney was quick to sing the praises of Wickham, who played most of the second period up front on his own and belied his young years with a display that stretched Derby all game.
“The way Connor brushed aside his marker in the second minute sums up what Connor is – he’s such a strong boy and holds the ball so well,” said Delaney.
“And the way he took his goal shows what talent he has.”
And looking ahead after so many low points in the season, Delaney added: “There have been some real lows and a lot of things said from our quarter as well.
“Our home performances have been good and since October our overall form has been okay despite a number of ifs and buts.
“We’re getting there.”