Fuller Flavour: I can see a season suspension ahead - but who is going to pay for all the testing?

Paul Lambert appeals to the referee during Ipswich Town's loss to Portsmouth

Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert is among six positive Covid-19 tests at the club - Credit: Steve Waller

These are extraordinary times to be writing this column in and I do wonder what the immediate future holds for football.

At this time of year, we look forward to attending games over the festive period, most notably on Boxing Day as it provides the ideal opportunity to get out of the house for some air and excitement following a day of delightful madness once Santa has visited.

Thousands of course would not have been able to attend our Boxing Day game at home to Northampton Town but nevertheless, for many, it would still have been a game to look forward to at least on the iFollow stream.

Fans back inside Portman Road.
Picture: Steve Waller
www.stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Town fans have finally returned to Portman Road for the last two games - but Karl Fuller fears a suspension of the season is coming - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

At the time of writing, it looks almost certain that our next two games will not go ahead due to the positive testing for Covid-19 of six of our squad/staff and immediate thoughts are with those affected and beyond. I wish all concerned a speedy recovery.

It is difficult to second guess what the EFL are going to do about both the whole scenario and on a case by case basis. There does not seem to be a consistent benchmark to understand what us fans can expect.

MORE: No plans for season suspension as league leaders Pompey become latest club hit by Covid-19 outbreak

For example, we’ve gone ahead and played games earlier in the season when Kayden Jackson had tested positive and also when first-team coach Matt Gill was positive.

You could argue the need for the rest of our squad to isolate at the time and our fixtures to be postponed.

Without knowing the full facts for Saturday’s opponents Peterborough United, on the face of it, we heard that someone in the Peterborough camp had tested positive and as a result, the rest of the squad isolated.

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But either way, the health and safety of players and staff of all clubs is of paramount importance and moving forward, I can only see things getting worse to the point where we might even have a suspension of the season until at least all clubs can be in a position to test on a more regular basis - but then who is going to foot the bill for that?

Kayden Jackson celebrating with teammate Emyr Huws who scored Towns second goal of the evening, to s

Ipswich Town's last game was a 2-1 win over basement side Burton - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Back to matters on the pitch, and our last game saw a victory over Burton Albion to give us another three vital points to maintain a position in and around the top six.

It was another game that was difficult viewing but any win is much appreciated given the current predicament we find ourselves in.

Paul Lambert was keen to tell us as many as four times in one post-match interview that we were two points off the top of the league.

Yes, that’s a great position to be in when focusing on that fact in isolation, but if you’re at a point of playing two or three more games than a few clubs around you, then one would hope to be in a better position than those clubs.

It’s a hollow claim for me at this stage to be boasting about league position and points off the top. Let’s see where we are when all are on equal games played.

The weekend games us saw us drop a place and now move to three points off the top. As it happens, the damage was rather limited as a couple of results went our way.

I guess what I am trying to say is if the season ended now and the final table was once again decided on a point per game basis, we would once more find ourselves finishing outside the top six.

Meanwhile, I featured on the podcast ‘Talking Town’ last Thursday night and would like to thank the guys for inviting me on.

MORE: Ex-Town boss Hurst set for a return to management

Believe it or not, talking on camera is not something that comes easily to me but for the second time in the last few weeks, the guys have been pleased to hear my views. I appreciate that I might come across negative but honestly, I am just a realist at heart.

It just remains for me to say that I wish all readers a very Merry Christmas and I hope that you enjoy the day on Friday as best as you possibly can with family and loved ones.

Keep safe one and all.

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