Still no away success for Ipswich
SATURDAY'S 1-1 draw at QPR highlighted just how much more each team needs to do to achieve their aims.The Blues still need to find their first away win since beating Luton last March, a run of 10 games without success, and when they do they could find themselves in the top six.
By Derek Davis
SATURDAY'S 1-1 draw at QPR highlighted just how much more each team needs to do to achieve their aims.
The Blues still need to find their first away win since beating Luton last March, a run of 10 games without success, and when they do they could find themselves in the top six.
For QPR the first target is to get out of the bottom three and they will hope that new investment, and the expected appointment of Francesco Guidolin, will see them improve.
Renault team boss Flavio Briatore, along with Bernie Ecclestone, who are now the majority shareholders who expect to complete their takeover on November 7, were away in Brazil to watch the Formula One Grand Prix and so missed a distinctly average match.
Ipswich will hope that the takeover talks they are currently engaged in will bear fruit soon, hopefully in time for the January transfer window so they can bolster their squad.
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Town were just short of dreadful in the first half but fortunately for them QPR were toothless up front.
The Blues, in all black, had warmed up wearing anti-racist shirts, but were slow starting as the home side, no doubt buoyed by their win against Norwich last time out, tore into Town.
Jason de Vos won everything in the air, Fabian Wilnis was wholehearted in his tackling and blocking and Neil Alexander had nothing to really stretch him.
But it was a worry for Town that the Championship's bottom club could mount as many attacks as they did, streaming through the middle as the triangle of Tommy Miller, Sylvain Legwinski and Owen Garvan failed to contain a feisty Rangers midfield.
Rowan Vine, Martin Rowlands and Gareth Ainsworth all had chances that were spurned.
Town got better, coincidentally, after Tommy Miller went off injured with a turned ankle.
Owen Garvan got into the game more but the young Irishman still looked below par.
He is clearly better going forward than covering back and as the R's ran out of ideas and impetus Garvan took control more.
Town's inspiration seemed to come from Gary Roberts, who replaced the injured Miller. The stint on the sidelines seemed to have inspired Roberts who was positive in everything he did and looked more like his old self with sharp turns and good balls into dangerous areas.
Along with Billy Clarke, who missed some good chances but generally buzzed about menacingly, and Garvan Town looked threatening in the second half.
Even so the goal came from nothing when Garvan found Legwinski with a throw in and the Frenchman produced a magical piece of skill before hitting a dipping volley Lee Camp.
Ipswich could easily have gone on to win comfortably.
Martin Rowlands cleared off the line from Clarke, who also watched as his shot trickled wide of a post with everyone beaten.
Skipper De Vos had the chance to get his fourth goal against QPR for Ipswich but contrived to head wide from six yards.
All those misses were to prove costly as Harford threw on the big Dane Marc Nygaard who was a handful in the air in both boxes.
It was a sharp bit of skill from Birmingham striker Vine that opened the door for the R's. His neat back-heel was pounced upon by Nygaard who got to the ball before Alexander and drove past the stranded keeper.
It is disappointing for Town, and their vociferous 2,000 travelling supporters, that they could not end their dreadful away run because the point was enough to put to into ninth place in the table with a game in hand at home against Leicester to come.
They have every chance of being among the play-off places but they need to find a winning formula away from home.
When Town score first they don't lose. This season they have gone on to win four and draw three but conversely they can't afford to go behind because when they have it has meant defeat all three times.
So the answer would seem to be straightforward - get in front and then work on concentrating and not allowing costly lapses.
This draw highlighted that once again - easy to see but not so easy to rectify.