Highlights and five talking points following Ipswich Town’s 5-1 defeat to Reading
Ipswich Town fell to a heavy 5-1 defeat at Reading last night, with Orlando Sa scoring a hat-trick for the hosts.
Here we run through a few of the talking points coming out of last night’s game, which was the Blues’ second loss in a row following a defeat to Brighton prior to the international break.
Ipswich Town are car crash TV in 2015
It’s fair to say the Blues’ recent record on television isn’t particularly good. Wins over Fulham, Charlton and Wigan ensured the first half of last season was a pretty successful one, in TV terms, but it’s been a different story since the turn of the year.
Last night’s 5-1 loss at Reading follows a miserable defeat to Derby, an FA Cup exit to Southampton, a hammering at Middlesbrough, a final day loss at Blackburn and, of course, a play-off exit at the hands of Norwich in Town’s TV tale of woe in 2015.
A trio of draws, against Bournemouth, Wolves and in the first leg with Norwich, mean Mick McCarthy’s side haven’t come away completely empty handed, but wouldn’t it be nice if they could pick up three points against Birmingham on Friday?
A balance needs to be found
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McCarthy’s Ipswich have taken on a new, attacking, identity in 2015/16, but at what cost?
The man himself admitted after last night’s game that he perhaps got the balance between defence and attack slightly wrong in Berkshire, with disastrous consequences.
The Blues certainly needed an injection of flair if they were to progress to the next level, with the likes of Ryan Fraser and Ainsley Maitland-Niles impressing early on, but keeping things tight at the back is just as important.
His record in management shows McCarthy is someone you should back to get things right, though, so there’s no need for major alarm bells just yet.
Despite the scoreline, there are still tentative positives to take
Not always the case when a team is beaten 5-1, and they’re not always easy to see, but there were bright spots at the Madejski.
Up until the third Reading goal, the Blues arguably matched their hosts and had chances to find the net themselves but, while the Royals were clinical, the Blues failed to make them count.
Freddie Sears looked bright while David McGoldrick was the Blues’ shining light, as he dropped deep to collect the ball and pushed on in equal measure, but their impressive efforts sadly weren’t enough.
There’s nowhere to hide if you’re a full-back
Lining up in any area of the field comes with pressure, of course it does, but is any position more exposed than full-backs?
Yes, every mistake a goalkeeper makes is likely to end up in the back of the net, but at full-back there’s potential to be given a torrid time for an entirety of a game which is likely to include a series of one-on-one battles with an opposition wide man. If said opponent has the better of you on the night, it can be a long old evening.
Jonas Knudsen had a tough night as Nick Blackman turned him inside and out, just as Kazenga LuaLua did to Josh Emmanuel when Brighton won at Portman Road before the international break, with the Dane often left exposed.
Knudsen will surely chalking this one up as a learning experience as he adapts to English football.
Ipswich have an impressive core of travelling fans
There were more than a thousand Town fans in the away end last night, a very impressive effort for a Friday night, televised, game which also involves a journey around the M25 which always has the potential to be a complete nightmare.
While many will be questioning just why they made the trip, given the eventual scoreline, it really is impressive so many did.