Mike Bacon: Trying to remain stoic, but goodness me this is hard work

Town players after going out on penalties.

Town players after going out on penalties. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Come on now, you know that following Ipswich Town over the last decade or so has been one big frustration party. We've all been invited along.

Too few highs, too many lows. Hopes raised, hopes dashed. Most of us have been in it for the long haul for far too long now. But that seems to be just the way it is. And remains.

Ipswich keeper Vaclav Hladky is beaten as Town are knocked out of the Papa John's trophy on penaltie

Ipswich keeper Vaclav Hladky is beaten as Town are knocked out of the Papa John's trophy on penalties. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

The Blues' defeat to Arsenal U-21s on penalties after being 2-0 up summed up the way it has been for years now at Portman Road - underachievement.

This week was one for the players to relish at Portman Road. Three home games, two cup ones, three wins, happy days. Roll on Christmas. But alas, no. Okay, so we beat basement-boys Crewe, but even that proved nervy.

Please let's beat Barrow!

If this week's opposition was Liverpool, Man City and PSG, we may have understood nervy finales and penalty shoot-outs, while looking to grab all the positives we could.

But, and with no disrespect, our opponents will have been Crewe, Arsenal U-21s and Barrow. Is it too much to ask to beat these sides fairly comfortably, the squad we have?

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Recent years have seen us deliver so little. We have been patient for so long and the hurt and anger is always bubbling below the surface.

If we were top of League One we wouldn't care two hoots about the Papa John's Trophy. But we're not.

All we can do is gaze at the Premier League and European competitions in all their glory, remembering that was once us.

Bersant Celina celebrates his goal just before the break with a lift from teammate Sone Aluko.

Bersant Celina celebrates his wonder goal against Crewe - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

We worship Bersant Celina's wonder goal against Crewe, remembering his last wonder goal at Portman Road was in the Championship against now Premier League, Leeds - they head one way, we head the other.

Plenty of rolled eyes and sighs. But somehow, we have to remain stoic.

I feel like you. Frustrated, disappointed, let down by some of our performances and our current league position.

We are already out of two cup competitions before Christmas (nothing new there). I would suggest it would not be good for fan morale, or the #itfc timeline on Twitter, should we lose to Barrow on Saturday.

Town manager Paul Cook pictured of ahead of the game.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Cook is keen for his team to progress in the FA Cup. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Somehow, and I say this with years of watching the Blues, we have to try and see the bigger picture.

We know things are better off the pitch. But it's on the pitch fans invest and, while the football has improved, results haven't always done so. And Paul Cook knows that.

I've said before and I'll say again, Cook deserves to build this squad. Whether he's making a great job of it at the moment, many of us are not sure. But he deserves time.

Forget last season. This season, at least, is his and there are lots of points still to play for.

I'm tired of our club hiring and firing managers as we have done at a rate of knots in recent years. For someone who spent most of my younger days only knowing Sir Bobby as the boss, I find our recent history of hiring and firing the likes of Keane, Jewell, McCarthy, Hurst and Lambert, troubling.

As a club we always prided ourselves on giving managers time. The thing is today, there has been so much time wasted in recent years.

Ipswich Town Football Club are very very lucky to have the fans they do. They are very lucky to have fans who have put up with so much in recent years, yet continue to keep coming back for more.

Town fans out in force at Cambridge.

Town fans out in force at Cambridge. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

It really wasn't beyond the wit of the footballing gods to have expected the Blues to have won all three games this week. They've failed.

Quite frankly, it's up to the squad of players Paul Cook has assembled to deliver and, on a regular basis.

Let's just hope it's two wins out of three this week for the Blues and we have at least one more cup round to look forward to in the New Year.

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