Mike Bacon: My little crystal ball, however one thing is a certainty

Town fans at head of the game.

Ipswich Town fans, loyal to the end - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

I suppose if we can take anything away from this season, it's the fact that Ipswich Town Football Club have a fan base many clubs would want in a heart beat.

As we all know when it comes to football clubs, managers, players, CEOs, chairmen, et al, come and go, but fans are a constant.

And this season Town fans have been by far the shining light of what has turned out to be a frustrating time when we all hoped for so much on the pitch, league position-wise, anyway.

However, as Sir Bobby once so famously said about supporting a club...'It's the noise, the passion, the feeling of belonging.'

I say all this because as many of you know it's 30 years ago this month the Blues won the old Second Division title on their way to joining the inaugural Premiership in 1992.

I spoke to Jason Dozzell recently about that campaign and he told me what a huge part Town fans played in helping the team get over the line.

Things hadn't been great for the Blues for a few seasons back then. Fans' patience had been tested (a bit like this recent decade) and, only just under 9,000 turned out for Town's opening game of that '91/92 season against Port Vale.

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Can you imagine that now, just under 9,000 on opening day?

Indeed Town's first three home games of what ended up being a championship-winning campaign that season saw attendances under 10,000.

Fans packing the stands on the last day of the season as Ipswich Town beat Brighton 3-1 in 1992

Fans packing the stands on the last day of the season as Ipswich Town beat Brighton 3-1 in 1992 - Credit: Archant

Anyhow, I digress, that season the team got on a roll and by the end of May 1992, and with the title about to be secured, nearly 27,000 turned out to watch Town beat Brighton at Portman Road as the Blues took their place in the Premiership.

Ipswich Town quite simply have a terrific fan base and it takes little for the Blue Army to mass behind the players. All they need is the encouragement and the belief that behind the scenes everyone wants what they do.

I don't think Town exactly has a small window of opportunity right now to get back in the Championship, but I do think as loyal as Town fans are, their patience doesn't need over-testing. It's been over-tested enough in recent years.

Kieran McKenna rightly deserves a tremendous amount of credit for the way he is conducting himself in what is his first major managerial role. I hope the owners and board back him, because to get out of this division, you need the right players.

We may well have just endured a summer of huge transition, but I think there is more to come this close season. Clearly, on the pitch the Blues are missing a trick somewhere. It's up to McKenna to find that key.

So, it's a Happy Easter from me and wouldn't it have been good if we could take a couple of big scalps in the form of Rotherham and Wigan by this time next week?

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna applauds fans after the game.

Kieran McKenna. Has done well, but would love to finish with a flourish - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

The poor Millers are 22nd in the current last-six game form guide, free-falling just when you don't want to free-fall, while Wigan are at the opposite end of that table, with four wins and two draws from their last six, although not admittedly against top six sides.

Of course, Town can still make the play-offs, but that's the only line I'm giving on it because it's 99% sure the Blues won't.

Okay, so fast forward 12 months then and where will Ipswich Town be when we are eating our Easter eggs come this time next year?

Well, it would certainly be nice to be very much in the League One mix, should Town still be in said division. It would be even better if they were top two and gunning for automatic. Or perhaps the Town are already up! How much fun will that have been?

Who knows? The only thing I do know is that Ipswich Town fans will continue to be out in force, out in numbers. Loyal to the end.

And for that very strong reason, among many strong reasons right now, it has been said before, but the future really is bright.

Ipswich Town fans outside the ground before the Sky Bet League One match at Portman Road, Ipswich. P

Town fans enjoying the Fanzone at Portman Road. They'll be back next season. - Credit: PA