Fuller Flavour: It’s early days in Ipswich Town’s recovery, but things are looking up!
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Another good performance and two more unbeaten games in the past week against two sides in the top five of our league – things really could be on the turn, but the real acid test this month is still yet to come.
Our last home match against Reading saw an excellent performance which I felt was based around the spine of Steven Taylor, Toumani Diagouraga and Tom Lawrence.
With all three missing against Leeds, I wondered pre-game if this would be a match too far and a player too many missing.
But the first 45 minutes again was as good as anything we’ve seen all season.
I thought David McGoldrick was majestic at times, Freddie Sears was back to his menacing best and finished off coolly an excellent move involving Emyr Huws and Grant Ward for our goal and until Leeds scored, I was thoroughly impressed with Jordan Spence.
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Christophe Berra had Chris Wood in his pocket all game until the Leeds man was substituted and there are not many defenders who can have that claim this season.
It seems unfair just to mention these few though as everyone put in a good shift. It was just so disappointing to concede such a soft goal as Leeds had largely looked ineffective until that point five minutes before the break.
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Whether it was purely them having an off day or if it was down to how we were pressing them is a point of conjecture itself, I prefer the latter theory of course.
They certainly hadn’t looked a top five side at that point. The half-time discussion was centred as to how the goal conceded might deflate us in the second period and could we keep the level of work-rate going for a full 90 minutes.
I think it’s fair to say that Leeds saw a lot more of the ball in the second-half and looked a good side when moving the ball around but without seriously testing Bart at any stage.
We broke forward well at times but Leeds stood firm to deny us an equally soft goal that they themselves grabbed. A draw was probably fair but if pushed, I’d say we deserved more.
I want to see us win every game, every fan does, but the position we’re in now, points gained are almost secondary to performances.
The last four games might have only yielded six points from 12 but in my last column in January, I quoted that I felt we’d be lucky to get five points in the whole of this month.
The performances have been worth far more, it’s been a return to the Ipswich of a couple of years ago in being hard to beat again but we’ve somehow stumbled on a bit of style to our play too.
It’s early days in our recovery of course and four good games this month alone do not make up for about 18 months of misery that preceded the month but you’ve got to start somewhere and I feel happy that we’ve made that start.
And did we miss those aforementioned players that much in the end on Saturday? Lawrence can of course do the unthinkable at any time but in six months we’ve got to get used to life without him and Saturday showed we’d be alright.
As I said, the real test for us comes on Sunday at Norwich. It’s a place where we’ve not won in 11 years and on paper, their squad is far superior to ours.
But if we play like we have for the last four games, then there’s no reason why we cannot go there and win.
We’re absolutely due a win there and it would be nice to think that if just one of my five wishes at the start of the season could come true, then to finally beat Norwich would be a good one to come to fruition.