Fuller Flavour: We might not make play-offs, but we've made progress

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna obliges the North Stand with a wave.

Ipswich Town might not make the play-offs under Kieran McKenna, but they've come a long way - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Town fan Karl Fuller shares his thoughts on the Blues after their frustrating week of draws...

As I pen this week’s column, I cannot recall the last time I wrote as frustrated as I am.

Upset, disappointed, angry and bereft of all hope, yes. Those miserable occasions have been ten a penny over the years. The frustration now is thankfully shared by all. This past week has seen us largely dominate two games that have yielded just two points.

My favoured football app tells me that from the two games combined, we had a total of 39 shots. Not being clinical enough in front of goal may well prevent us from reaching the play-offs, but yet again, we have had some fantastic football to watch at times.

The magnitude of the stage of the season we are now at will probably cloud the minds of many as to how well things are going. Yes, they could have been better this week, but Kieran McKenna is still averaging two points per game and has made us really tight at the back.

Kieran McKenna at Morecambe.

Ipswich Town have claimed 24 points from 12 games since Kieran McKenna took charge. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

On Saturday, we reached a record number minutes passing by without conceding a goal. He has made a big difference very quickly and has corrected much of what was wrong. Could we really expect everything to be put right though after just 12 games in charge?

Look, I want instant success too. But progress will do for now. I felt that at the start of McKenna’s reign, 11 points off the top-six was too much of a gap to close. There is still hope and let’s not give up just yet on this season.

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Whatever happens, I am buzzing for next season. The task may just get more difficult tomorrow evening with Oxford, Sheffield Wednesday and Wycombe all in action.

We cannot control what they do ultimately. Hopefully, some hard work on the training ground this week with our strikers might just get them back on fire for Saturday’s trip to Fleetwood.

Thankfully, my mind will be nowhere near what happens with those aforementioned clubs though. I am looking forward to seeing Terry Butcher and Matt Holland for their legends evening at the Corn Exchange.

The two are favourites of mine and both will no doubt have some great stories to tell from what were two exciting eras of their time playing for the club.

I was fortunate to spend an evening with Terry at Paul Mariner’s 65th birthday meal and he had some great stories to tell. I remember thinking then that I would have paid good money to sit and listen to his tales and this time, I am.

I am wondering if he will bring up his thoughts on Diego Maradona once more. I interviewed Matt many years ago for the Ipswich fanzine TWTD. He was very interesting and I look forward to his revelations of his time at Ipswich.

Macauley Bonne holds his head in disbelief after heading wide from point blank range at Morecambe.

Macauley Bonne holds his head in disbelief after heading wide from point blank range at Morecambe. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

I recently started the long road of writing an Ipswich Town book based around memories of the Blues being screened live on TV.

Putting together all the games and line-ups has been the first hurdled almost negotiated and Matt is one of only four players to have played in 50 or more live games.

The era in which he played helped to have a fair number of games screened live given that we had a spell in both the Premier League and in Europe. It is no surprise therefore to reveal the other three players to play in at least 50 games were of the same era.

I cannot imagine a player in the future will appear in as many games. We have firstly got to get back to that level, and then have a player hang around long enough to achieve this feat. It’s a stark reminder of how much we have fallen as a club over the years.

Finally this week, huge congratulations to Ipswich Town Women.

Ipswich Town vs Southampton

Ipswich Town Women celebrate their penalty shootout win against Southampton in the previous round of the FA Cup. - Credit: Ross Halls

Never mind the League Cup final going to a dramatic penalty shoot-out on Sunday. The penalties that really mattered came at the Goldstar ground, Felixstowe.

A massive well done to Joe Sheehan and his side for making history as the ladies reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for the first time.

Sarah Quantrill was the hero for making two spot-kick saves and here’s hoping the run can continue.