Poll: Vote for your Ipswich Town player of the season and read our fan’s review
Ipswich Town are about to wrap up their most successful season in a decade by hopefully sealing a place in the play-offs.
Town fan and aspiring sports writer Scott Fraser offers his thoughts about the season.
No matter the result this Saturday, it is fair to say we now have a squad of players and management we can all be extremely proud of.
Following last seasons Play-off near-miss, the most optimistic of us Town fans were starting to believe that we could be about to witness something very special this season.
Pre season optimism then turned sour with the news Aaron Cresswell would be making the jump to the Premier League without us, and rumours of our other ‘star’ players possibly making the same jump seemed to make the out-of-season months last even longer than usual.
However, come the start of September we still had our full squad intact following the brave decision to turn down big money offers for the likes of McGoldrick and Mings, the latter decision proving to be a wonderful decision by Mr Evans.
Our squad was also improved, most notably with the arrivals of Jonny Parr, Kevin Bru and Bartosz ‘The Beard’ Bialkowski.
- 1 No timescale for when Suffolk road closed due to flooding can reopen
- 2 Fire breaks out at British Sugar Factory
- 3 Matchday Recap: Outrageous Celina wins to for Town
- 4 Snow falls in Suffolk overnight as cold snap set to continue
- 5 Nearly 150 homes to go on land no longer needed for jobs
- 6 Face masks to be compulsory in shops and public transport, PM announces
- 7 Case of new Omicron Covid variant identified in Essex
- 8 'Calm, graceful and kind': Tributes paid to martial arts world champion
- 9 More than 20 drivers caught at speeds of 100mph on A14 within an hour
- 10 Van driver jailed after A12 crash left motorist with life-changing injuries
A fantastic start to the season, live on Sky, at home to recently relegated Fulham brought that optimistic feeling rushing back.
No win in five games following our opening day victory, including a derby day defeat at home to Norwich, however gave many of us a feeling of deja-vu, yet another season of mid-table mediocrity beckoned.
The defeat against Norwich would though open the door to a certain Teddy Bishop, and what a revelation he has been for us this season.
Finally the midfield spark we have been searching for and he came from our very own academy – yes, the one not deemed good enough to be given Category 1 status.
An extraordinary run of results, which included just one defeat between August 30 and the start of 2015, saw us sitting pretty in second place heading into our top of the league clash with Derby, which unfortunately ended in defeat.
This was where all our fortunes were to change, January saw us fall slightly away from the top two and although results began to improve, performances did not and our quest to gain automatic promotion began to fade.
A run of three defeats in four at the beginning of March, ending with a 4-1 defeat at Middlesbrough, ultimately meant we had to set our sights on securing a play-off position and no more.
With one game left to go, and having accumulated our highest points total for some time, we still need to avoid defeat at Blackburn to ensure we finish in the top 6, this made unfortunately more difficulty by the chasing pack Brentford, Derby and Wolves all being at home.
Whether our season will continue past this Saturday however, is completely in our hands.
No matter our final position there has been some incredible moments to look back on. The emergence of Teddy Bishop and Tyrone Mings. Last minute victories on the road at Charlton and Watford. Witnessing the Luke Chambers fist pump many more times than usual and the all too familiar Mick and Terry post match hug. Add to that the signing of Freddie Sears, definitely bargain buy of the season. And who can forget the moment Skuse unleashed that powerful 25 yard piledriver against Cardiff, and for those wondering ‘I was there when Cole Skuse scored’.
The most incredible so far however is the rise of Player of the Season, Daryl Murphy. 25 goals and counting is an incredible return for our Irish Talisman.
He has led the line wonderfully in the absence of ‘Didzy’ and having found a new partner in crime, in Freddie Sears, the thought of our front line firing us to the Premier League over the course of the next few weeks is an exciting prospect.
My Player of the Season however is not Daryl Murphy. There were three names, Murphy included, who I could have chosen but I have gone for Christophe Berra ahead of Murphy and Skuse.
Berra, who has pitched in with six goals this season, has been the backbone of our defence for two years now and I am still yet to see a better centre half than him in this division.
The Scot has come up against a number of high class strikers, Deeney, Vydra and Wilson to name a few, none of which have had the better of him. He is a calming influence at the back and, his own goal against Forest aside, has been simply outstanding.
Whatever the result Saturday, we certainly have plenty to look forward to next year whether it is visiting Old Trafford or Ashton Gate!