New Year looms, same position for Ipswich Town... 19th

WHERE is the progress at Ipswich Town?

The Blues started 2011 occupying a disappointing 19th position in the Championship. Fast-forward almost 12 months and – with just Saturday’s trip to in-form Reading to go this year – the Suffolk club remain in the exact same position in the table.

Paul Jewell replaced Roy Keane in the hot-seat back in January, with owner Marcus Evans unhappy that the club appeared to be slipping slowly backwards under his continued investment.

However, despite a plethora of players coming and going during the latest managerial reign, the same frustrating inconsistencies have remained. The club may not be any worse off, but it’s certainly not much further forward either.

A record of 50 games played, 19 wins, just eight draws and 23 defeats sums it up perfectly. Too good to go down, nowhere near good enough to mount a promotion challenge.

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Indeed, with seven points from the last three games having quelled fears of a relegation dogfight, long-suffering Blues fans are now bracing themselves for another dull second half of the season which could well see them meander towards yet another mid-to-low finish in the table.

And while the likes of fierce rivals Norwich have been relegated only to come back infinitely stronger, it’s beginning to feel like Ipswich are becoming a club that simply makes up the numbers in English football’s second tier.

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Of course, Town have no divine right to be in the top-flight. There are numerous other second tier clubs that have been in the Premier League much more recently that are also in the same boat.

However, there is certainly a growing feeling of stagnation at a club which is now in its 10th successive season in the Championship.

- See today’s EADT for Stuart Watson’s review of Ipswich Town’s 2011.

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