Mike Bacon on Town: Just a tweak here and there, I'll start with this one

Ipswich players dejected after conceding the first late goal at Sunderland

Ipswich Town players look dejected after going behind at Sunderland. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

We all said, as the Blue Army headed west to deepest Devon back in October, our next five League One games will determine much.

That was before our trip to Plymouth, followed by Wycombe (away), Oxford at home, Sunderland away, and on Tuesday, Rotherham at Portman Road.

Paul Cook faces the media after the loss at Sunderland

Paul Cook faces the media after the loss at Sunderland - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Well, I don't know about you, but I appear to have more questions than answers after four points out of 15 from that little lot. I know I'm not alone.

Look, there's a long way to go. It's a marathon not a sprint. But Paul Cook and the team need to get a jog on to be honest before they leave themselves too much to do in the final straight.

I'm not interested in any Paul Cook out chat. That's absurd. Let's play this season out and see where it takes us with Cook at the helm. Because right now as much as plenty of fans are understandably exasperated, our lack of on-field success against current front runners is not only based on this squad but years of underachieving.

Yet, let's be honest 13th in the table and just six wins from 19 is hardly what we were expecting. It's a well below average return from this squad, gel or no gel.

Football is a funny old game, the great Jimmy Greaves used to tell us.

Most Read

But what I've always found funny is the amount of times fans appear to see one thing and managers and coaches another.

Town fans at Home Park.

Town fans at Home Park. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

I've said in this column right from day one I don't like 4-2-3-1, especially at home, where teams should be scared stiff of our attacking play. Maybe it's our previous with that formation that hasn't done us many favours in the past decade, with our ultra-defensive former bosses in charge, who have dragged us to this point in our club's history.

Maybe it's because as a Town fan I was brought up with attacking midfielders (in different eras mind you), like Wark and Holland banging in goals behind strikers.

Paul Mariner celebrates scoring the winner against Everton at Goodison Park on February 24 1979 in a

Paul Mariner celebrates scoring the winner against Everton at Goodison Park on February 24 1979 in a 1-0 win. Town went on to finish sixth that season.

Maybe I'm old-fashioned and like attacking striking combinations ie. Toshack and Keegan, Mariner and Brazil, Sala and Mane, Kane and Son.

But likely I'll be told by those who live, work and breath the game, I don't understand football.

Well, maybe I don't. But our home form is bang average right now, we've only won three of ten league games. Hardly, 'Fortress Portman Road.'

Off the pitch, our fans continue to do their bit. Pack out Portman Road over Christmas is clearly going to be a huge success. We have thousands travelling to away games in support of the team. We just need a consistent killer punch, as we showed at Portsmouth and Wycombe.

Wes Burns celebrates with Kane Vincent-Young at Adams Park during the win over Wycombe Wanderers.

Wes Burns celebrates with Kane Vincent-Young at Adams Park during the win over Wycombe Wanderers. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Look, I'm in a far happier place with our club than I have been for years. And I think most of you are as well. We have owners who speak to us, a ground that is being tidied up, a history we are shouting about and a squad that has real potential.

Of course Cook would rather be in second place than 13th but it's up to him to work out how he's going to do that.

As fans we don't want to hear other club's managers telling us how good we are. I would rather a manager says we are the most rubbish team he's ever seen as we head off with the three points and extend our position at the top, rather than some of the condescending stuff we have had to listen to recently.

Scott Fraser celebrates with Joe Pigott after he had given Town the lead from the penalty spot.

Scott Fraser celebrates with Joe Pigott after he had given Town the lead from the penalty spot against Wimbledon - Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller

There's a long way to go. Maybe a three-game winning streak, starting against Crewe on Sunday and followed up with victory over Arsenal U21s and Barrow will kick-start us again.

We are a good side with good players and our club is unrecognisable from the one we have endured for the past decade. 

We have been riding on a tide of goodwill, but the team's lack of recent results against our promotion hopefuls is causing angst among some. And I get that. Paul Cook will get that as well.

No-one wants a massive overhaul, just a tweak here and there. We have the players and if I am allowed one thought, I think Joe Pigott, who banged in goals for fun at Wimbledon over the past years, deserves more than a chance right now.

I would say alongside Bonne up top - there I've said it!

We are always told by the great and the good in the game, the table doesn't lie and Cook is paid to make the big decisions. I know he'll make them.

The vast majority of us are behind the whole project. I'm certainly behind Paul Cook, as are most fans. A run of wins will change everything once more, but more tough gigs are just around the corner.

COME ON TOWN.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter