Ipswich Town fans have been right to demand more, admits Tommy Smith

Tommy Smith, pictured back in the Ipswich Town team at Norwich on Sunday. Photo: PAGEPIX

Tommy Smith, pictured back in the Ipswich Town team at Norwich on Sunday. Photo: PAGEPIX

Ipswich Town defender Tommy Smith admits supporters have been right to demand from the team this season.

The 26-year-old has watched from the stands for the majority of this campaign due to the fact he underwent back surgery last September. He also worked as co-commentator for BBC Radio Suffolk when the Blues drew with non-league Lincoln in the FA Cup.

It’s enabled the homegrown centre-back to get a feel of the mood among fans, which turned increasingly sour towards the end of January following an FA Cup exit and slide down the Championship table.

“We’ve been a bit of a victim of our own success in doing so well to make the play-offs a couple of years ago, but the fans have every right to expect that every season,” said Smith, who made his injury comeback as a second-half substitute in last Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Norwich and could feature in tomorrow afternoon’s home clash with Brentford.

“As a club we need to show the fans we are moving forwards again. We’ve stagnated a bit this season, have been very up and down and we want to give the fans something to shout about again between now and the end of the season.”

There is a lot more positivity surrounding the Blues following a five-game unbeaten run consisting of a win against Aston Villa and draws against Reading, Brighton, Leeds and Norwich. Manager Mick McCarthy has talked about trying to ‘mend a broken relationship’ with supporters.

“The performances that we’ve shown in the last few weeks have been really positive,” said Smith. “Hopefully we can build on that now and step up again next season.

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“The fans were entitled to give us a bit of stick and I’m glad the lads have turned it around in the last few weeks.

“It’s been a difficult season this time around, for whatever reason, but we’re confident now that we’ve found a formation that we believe we are very good at playing.”

He added: “In recent weeks the fans have been much happier with the style of football we are trying to play. We’re passing it a lot more. There are still long balls, but they are not aimless long balls. In the past we might have just lumped it forwards, but the long balls we are playing at the moment seem to be more measured and that gives us a better chance of retaining possession.”