No guile, no quality and little hope

SIMPLY not good enough yet again.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

SIMPLY not good enough yet again.

Yes Ipswich bombarded the Watford goal and former Academy boy Scott Loach kept them at bay with some good saves, but Town lacked enough guile and quality to put away a side that are still looking over the shoulder at the drop zone.


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Watford should not have too much to worry about, under Brendan Rodgers they looked organised, moved the ball around well and had their own chances to win the game but for Richard Wright.

What continues to be concern is Town's inability to find wins at home. Six victories at what was last year Fortress Portman Road, is the lowest amount from any team above Blackpool in 18th spot, and only they, Nottingham Forest and Charlton have fewer.

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Manager Jim Magilton can blame the media, the fans whoever he wants but in reality it is his responsibility.

Of course they weren't helped when they lost Gio dos Santos to a groin injury after just 26 minutes, on a day when it was revealed Luciano Civelli could be out until Christmas, September at best.

Maybe it is the programme's fault as both have featured on the front cover on the day they get hurt.

That won't explain why Ipswich looked a right mess in the first half. David Norris played in three different positions, left midfield, right midfield and then in the middle, so little wonder the Blues looked unsettled and lacked direction

Watford almost capitalised and certainly had the better of the early chances. Not least when the Iv�n Campo was too casual just outside his own area and the alert Tommy Smith disposed him and raced towards goal.

Only a fine reaction save from Richard Wright deny the striker. Wright denied Smith again in the second half with another top save and the Watford man was causing havoc but when he did get behind the defence Ben Thatcher was equal to him a couple of times and on other occasions his pull-backs failed to find a golden shirt.

Jobi McAnuff and Tamas Priskin also had long range shot deflected away for corners while Don Cowie lifted an effort not far over the bar.

Town had the more frequent, and better, chances in the second half with Danny Haynes in particular causing problems but for the most part his final ball was poor and when he did hit a low shot well it zipped outside the far post.

Norris drove into the area but lacked the composure and quality to finish off a couple of good opportunities and when he was on target Watford's defenders, and keeper Loach blocked efficiently.

Pablo Counago showed some classy touches, to the delight of the sombrero-wearing Town fans in the South Stand, and his back heels for Jon Stead deserved better finishes.

Loach pushed the first one around a post and then had a second driven straight at him.

The England under 21 keeper produced his finest save from Alan Quinn whose powerful and well-directed shot looked destined to be the winner before Loach turned it away for a corner.

Town's injury woes continue as David Wright went off with a hamstring concern and Tommy Miller departed with a dead leg.

Whether that will give Alex Bruce and Veliche Shumulikoski a chance to get back in the 16 we will have to see but it looks very likely that both will be seeking pastures new in the summer.

Changes will inevitably be made in the close season with a dozen or so players being shown the door but what else Magilton can do to make the much-need improvements is open to debate.

Town are 10th, have been for more than three months and like to team on the pitch Saturday Magilton does not seem to have any fresh ideas and there are no tangible signs of improvement, progress or their likelihood there will be any.

It looks as if he has taken the team/club as far as he can.

The ever-patient Town fans booed at the end but even that was half-hearted as a sense of acceptance seemed to fall on those who had not already realised this Town side are not good enough to be a top six side.

The draw takes their run to just one win in six, and while they have kept three clean sheets in four of those games, they look an ordinary team going nowhere.

After three years and well in excess of the �12m spent just in the last year - that simply can't be good enough.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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