Fuller Flavour: Some worrying stats Town have to turn around quickly

Bersant Celina is disappointed after the loss against Plymouth Argyle at Home Park.

Bersant Celina shows his disappointment after Saturday's 2-1 loss at League One leaders Plymouth. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Ipswich Town fan Karl Fuller shares his latest thoughts on the Blues after defeat at Plymouth - and some worrying statistics...

How was your Hallowe’en weekend? Probably, like mine, it was spooked by yet another game where Town led and then lost to take the accumulated number of lost points from winning positions thus far this season to 18.

A horror show it may not have necessarily have been on Saturday, but it is enough to make you scream.

Whilst we have undoubtedly had a season with far more treats than recent years, we are missing a few tricks where for some reason, nearly 50% of our league games to date have seen us fail to build on leads.

George Edmundson celebrates giving Ipswich the lead at Home Park.

Town took the lead at Plymouth but couldn't hold on - again - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Going into two difficult games at Plymouth and Wycombe, my hopes of netting four points have already been dashed.

Anything other than a win now at Wycombe tomorrow will be a very unsatisfactory return if we are really going to consider ourselves promotion contenders.

It is very frustrating as I thought that we were on a roll now. Injuries and illnesses did not help our cause admittedly and I hope one or two are back for Wycombe.

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A statistic that I hoped not to revisit this season has reared its ugly head again. We still cannot cut it against top ten teams. Since we came down to League One, against those sides that finished top ten in both 2019/20 and 2020/21, and in those games against the current top ten, our record now reads: P41, W6, D14, L21, F27, A47. We have taken a meagre 32 points out of 123 available.

A new manager and a whole new squad are failing to turn this particular picture around. And with our next three league fixtures against three more clubs in the current top ten, that record could get worse.

It could have been so different on Saturday had we taken those late chances in the game and, in the grand scheme of things, we were not blown away by a team sitting on top of the league, who have not lost since the opening day of the season.

But it is results that count and we do not help ourselves really. What on earth goes through our minds in the five minute periods either just after we have scored, before half-time, just after half-time or from the end of the game?

54% of our 24 goals conceded to date in the league have come within these four sectors of games. It clearly demonstrates some game management issues that we are struggling to eradicate.

Town fans at Home Park

Town fans at Home Park - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Why are the players not switched on in these moments? We urge for consistency yet here is a consistent trait that needs to be gotten rid of.

And whilst this is becoming a statistic laden column, I will turn my attention to Saturday’s FA Cup tie with Oldham Athletic.

Some people no longer care about the FA Cup. I am a traditionalist, my formative years of becoming an Ipswich fan came at a time when we were holders of the cup.

I know, I know, it was such a long time ago and I should stop being archaic. But whilst I don’t ever expect us to go on long runs in the competition anymore, I would like at least to see us give it a go in the games we do play.

The number 9 tribute to Paul Mariner at Home Park.

The number 9 tribute to Paul Mariner at Home Park. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

I want to see a relatively strong side on display and a win here and there would be nice. We have won just one of our last 19 FA Cup ties.

If a table of all 92 clubs was on display for the last 19 ties played by all teams, we would be sitting bottom, three wins behind 91st place Morecambe. By contrast, Oldham have won 11 of their last 19 ties, so defeat for us would not really be much of a shock I suppose.

Back to Saturday and what a fantastic display of affection towards the legend that was Paul Mariner by both Ipswich and Plymouth fans. It was a fitting and as rousing a reception that the great man deserved.

So many Town fans made the long trip and the noise you made at that moment and for the rest of the game was a credit to you all. I hope another packed out away end at Wycombe are suitably rewarded.

The tribute to Paul Mariner at Home Park.

The tribute to Paul Mariner at Home Park. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

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