Fuller Flavour: Yes, some wins are ugly - but we're making progress

Conor Chaplin wheels away after scoring the only goal of the game.

A moment of quality from Conor Chaplin won Ipswich Town the game against Gillingham - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Town fan Karl Fuller offers his thoughts on the Blues after the weekend win over Gillingham and ahead of the game at Doncaster tomorrow night....

The good, the bad and the ugly – that’s the result, the performance and the way in which we ground out a victory on Saturday.

Look, I’ve seen plenty of Ipswich games over the years. And there have been a fair few occasions where we have played well enough to get something out of the game and left empty handed. Swings and roundabouts, we take the win and move on.

It is rather easy to say now that we would not have won that game under Paul Cook or Paul Lambert. Maybe we wouldn’t have.

But it is also true to say that one moment of quality from Conor Chaplin proved to be enough. And five wins in seven now for Kieran McKenna is a record not to be grumbled at however it has been achieved.

Goal scorer Conor Chaplin applauds fans after the game.

Goal scorer Conor Chaplin applauds fans after the game. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

It is also four wins on the spin that I have now seen. The last time that happened was over 17 years ago. Why the performance was not so good is as much to do with Gillingham as it is anything else.

It would be easy to have assumed that having trounced them 4-0 at their place just a few weeks ago, we only had to turn up and we would hammer them again. Neil Harris has clearly got them showing more fight and has shored things up a bit for them.

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As for ourselves, our forward passing balls were pretty poor on the day and James Norwood was wasted out wide. Lessons to be learnt from the last two games then, and I am sure that McKenna and his staff will improve these matters over time.

We’re getting to a stage of the season where sides at the bottom are going to fight for every point. We will be in for just as much of a scrap at Doncaster tomorrow.

Our league record north of the Watford Gap this season is not good at all. With only a win at Lincoln to our name, we really need to put this right at Rovers.

Then on Saturday, we can perhaps expect more of a proper football match at MK Dons, with nearly 7,000 Town fans backing the boys.

The transfer window close closed last week and it felt like a neutral reaction overall from Town fans on social media.

A fair few were not happy with our business, believing we weakened ourselves and then there was the camp that I sit in. That is one who is content enough.

Many were hoping that we would sign Jay Matete from Fleetwood and he ultimately signed for Sunderland. My thoughts are that although we did not look to sign Matete, released Scott Fraser and let Rakeem Harper go out on loan, it would have been a far poorer window for us if we did not land Christian Walton permanently and lost say either Wes Burns or George Edmundson.

Both could quite easily play in the Championship and I am surprised that the vultures that we might have to fight off in the summer were not swirling in this window.

A trimmed squad should make it easier over the next three months for McKenna to get a proper look at those left at the club and to further instil his ideas and strategies which will hopefully make us a better side as time moves on.

As I’ve said, if we do not make the play-offs, I just want to see progress. How progress is measured might be a different view from that of mine to the next Town fan, but the signs are there already in my book.

Finally this week, I watched the interview that the ‘Talking Town’ podcast held with former goalkeeper Craig Forrest on Sunday night. It brought back some great memories for me of the era that Craig played, especially the 1991/92 season.

He spoke very fondly of some great times he had at Ipswich. And so much did I love the Canadian at the time, I named my youngest son after him when he was born in 1993.

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna applauds fans after the game.

Ipswich Town have won their first three home games under manager Kieran McKenna. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

If anyone else named their child after a Town player, past or present, do let me know - e-mail tff25@hotmail.co.uk.

It would be great to hear from you.