Mike Bacon: Why it's time for Town to go 4-4-2

Conor Chaplin celebrates scoring Ipswich's second during the second half at Gillingham

Conor Chaplin celebrates scoring Ipswich's second during the second half at Gillingham - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

I'll be honest with you, I'm absolutely all over the place at the moment.

Doncaster 6-0, Accrington Stanley 1-2, Gillingham (with a million changes) 2-0. And did you see our bench at Gillingham?

I'm really not sure how I feel.

Of course the Accrington result was a disaster, but then the Gillingham win, okay only in the EFL Trophy, was a delight. A delight because we could change the whole team and still have a starting XI many clubs in League One would die for.

Conor Chaplin scores Ipswich's second during the second half at Gillingham

Conor Chaplin scores Ipswich's second during the second half at Gillingham - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

It's all going to come right, isn't it? You know it is, I know it is. Suddenly it's going to all click.

I know we thought the Doncaster game was the time, but obviously we were wrong. Or was the Accrington game just a blip? See, why I'm all over the place? You must be too.

How Paul Cook copes I can't imagine.

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I mean he must look at his squad on the training ground in the morning and then the League One table over his pasta and chicken at lunchtime, and wonder if he's in some sort of parallel universe.

Happy Town fans during the second half at Gillingham

Happy Town fans during the second half at Gillingham - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Norwood and Barry coming on as subs at Gillingham in a team that had already made 11 changes to the starting XI from Saturday. That's ridiculous.

Cook says he still doesn't know what his best XI is. He's not alone. I don't think many of us could name our best Town XI from that squad right now.

Long gone are the days of Cooper, Burley, Mills... etc, etc. Repeat, repeat.

Still, at least we have the quality, we just need the formula... and perhaps a different formation.

With two wide men so wide, is 4-2-3-1 really ideal? Why not go 4-4-2, keep the full-backs deep and you can still play with two wingers, but now you have two up top.

Paul Cook faces the media at Accrington Stanley.

Paul Cook, still working it out - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

I know, I hear you, what do I know? I'll shut up. No, I won't.

It's just that surely Joe Pigott and Macauley Bonne are worth giving an extended run together now they've trained together and got to know each other? Bonne's in great form, Pigott still knows where the net is. You don't lose the ability to score goals.

At Cheltenham, if Bonne had netted 'that' missed chance that Pigott flicked onto him, we may all be calling a different tune right now.

Joe Pigott celebrates his first half goal at Gillingham

Joe Pigott celebrates his first half goal at Gillingham - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

So, it's been a right mixed bag of late, but a good win over the Shrews on Saturday and we'll all be nodding our heads again and looking forward to the season really taking off.

Some say we are already cutting it fine, but I remember George Burley's team of 97/98 losing just one of their last 22 on their way to the Division One play-offs, having won just seven of their first 20.

But the current Blues will have to get back to that ruthless Doncaster performance, and soon, if they want to achieve what Burley's boys did that season and, if Cook wants automatic promotion this campaign his team are going to have to get seriously  cracking.

Nothing is impossible of course, but many of us live in a realistic footballing world and 10 points from your opening 10 league games is hardly automatic promotion stuff.

Disappointed Cameron Burgess makes his way to the dressing room after the loss at Accrington Stanley

Disappointed Cameron Burgess makes his way to the dressing room after the loss at Accrington Stanley. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

However, as I said at the start, I'm all over the place right now. It would not surprise me if we won our next five, it would not surprise me if we won just one, drew two and lost two.

I'm hoping, like you, the Accrington result was a real turning point for Cook's squad. A proper wake-up call. It should have been.

We will find out.

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