Fuller Flavour: Anything other than six points from Easter and we can kiss play-offs goodbye

Ipswich Manager Paul Cook at Wigan

Paul Cook faces a tough task to get Ipswich Town into the play-offs - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Ipswich Town fan and writer Karl Fuller shares his thoughts on the Blues heading into the final ten games of the season...

What another excellent result on Saturday and the season continues to shine. Well done to all involved and I’m sure Mr Dozzell went to bed smiling on Saturday evening.

I am of course referring to Ipswich Town’s Under 18’s and their excellent FA Youth Cup win over Swindon Town.

The young ones, managed by Adem Atay, who is assisted by Jason Dozzell, progressed to the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup thanks to goals from Edwin Agbaje, Ola Bello and Albie Armin in a fine 3-1 win after Swindon had opened the scoring through George Cowmeadow.

In the fifth round, we will now be away to either Middlesbrough or Swansea City. Also on top of their league currently, this is an Ipswich side to really be proud of right now.

Fabio Wardley v Eric Molina, Heavyweight Contest.
27 March 2021

Ipswich boxer Fabio Wardley celebrates his win over Eric Molina on Saturday - Karl Fuller says it's a shame the Town first team don't show any fight - Credit: Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Ipswich-based boxer Fabio Wardley for his win over Eric Molina in Saturday night's heavyweight bout in Gibraltar.

I suppose I should move on to the main event and sadly, though the aforementioned victories both showed fight and character,  that's something I cannot relate to our first-team’s display at Wigan Athletic.

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It was ultimately, just another drab affair which joins a growing list of so many this season.

Before Saturday’s game, Wigan’s record against the current top eleven saw them win just three games in 15 matches played,  while the eight played on home soil had yielded six defeats.

It basically presented Town with the ideal opportunity to get a win on the board.

You may not be surprised to know that leaders Hull had previously scored five in a 5-0 win at the DW Stadium and given Blackpool’s recent upturn in form, you may not be surprised when I tell you they also won by the same score there at the end of January.

What may come as a surprise is that bottom-of-the-table Rochdale won there by the same score.

So the hope was that we could manage at least one goal, stay firm at the back and pinch a 1-0 win.

James Norwood reaction to not getting a free-kick after being wrestled to the ground during the firs

James Norwood reaction to not getting a free-kick after being wrestled to the ground during the first half at Wigan - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

After all, the last six top-11 sides to visit Wigan have all won.

Five goals? We didn’t even have five shots did we? And I really was kidding myself to think that we could pinch a 1-0 win over a struggling side.

This run-in that we have on paper really will not be the cakewalk some think it might be.

I don’t know if we are at the ‘last-chance saloon’ stage yet, but anything other than six-points from our two Easter fixtures really should lay the ridiculous notion of reaching the play-offs to bed once and for all, no matter how few points we are be away from them.

As soon as I saw our line-up at Wigan, I worried about where the creativity would come from. Who would supply the ammunition to fire us to a win?

Kieran Dyer watches the warm up at the DW Stadium in Wigan today

Kieron Dyer watches the warm up at the DW Stadium in Wigan today - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

When I realised that Kieron Dyer was with the squad, I thought that we might as well have played him and Gary Roberts, and they would have given us more.

I was not surprised to hear that our squad struggled with double training sessions last week.

Partly because of the amount of games and travelling in recent weeks, but mostly because of our injuries and fitness problems over the past few years which are another wrong that needs putting right.

When Paul Cook blows up this squad and starts a rebuild in the summer, he will surely think about these areas too.

We have had two England games over the last few days and two wins to get us off to the perfect start in our quest to qualify for next years’ World Cup.

Ok, the opposition was weak but you can only beat what’s in front of you after all. Usually, the England national team does very little to get me excited.

Of course, when it comes to the tournaments, I am switched on and eager for us to succeed. I am a club man every time before country though.

But this England squad really could be worth getting excited about. We have a wealth of young talent and if harnessed correctly, maybe this year or next really could see us to a long overdue tournament triumph.

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