Stu says: Six observations following Town's 4-1 win at Wycombe

Ipswich Lee Evans and Macauley Bonne players celebrate the 4-1 win on the final whistle at Adams Par

Ipswich Lee Evans and Macauley Bonne players celebrate the 4-1 win on the final whistle at Adams Park. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Ipswich Town enjoyed another magic night under the lights, winning 4-1 at Wycombe Wanderers yesterday. STUART WATSON reflects on the action.

Wes Burns celebrates his second half goal with Macauley Bonne at Adams Park against Wycombe.

Wes Burns celebrates his second half goal with Macauley Bonne at Adams Park against Wycombe. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

LIFT-OFF MOMENT? 

As Ronan Keating once sung, ‘life is a rollercoaster, just got to ride it’. 

This season, only a third completed, has already had more dramatic highs and lows than Paul Cook’s erratic vocal chords. 

Hold on tight Town fans and enjoy. Campaigns like this don’t come along very often. When the next set-back comes (and it will), don't forget how you felt during the grey, predictable, flat-lining periods of the not-so-distant past. Finally, it's fun to follow the Blues again.

I’ve got a feeling that, come May, we could all look back on last night as a defining moment. 

This latest instalment of unbridled Tuesday night joy felt more significant than the thrashings of Doncaster and Portsmouth, both of whom had been badly out of form. 

Most Read

CHANGING THE NARRATIVE 

A sign at the end of Wycombe’s tunnel, the last thing players see as they enter the field of play, states ‘OUR HOUSE, OUR RULES’. 

Gareth Ainsworth’s men had won eight successive league games at Adams Park. They are a direct, physical, experienced, settled and streetwise team.  

This was the sort of game the Blues would have previously buckled in. See Burton, Cheltenham and Accrington for examples. 

So it was natural to fear the worst as the half hour mark approached. 

Bersant Celina goes for the ball at Adams Park against Wycombe.

Bersant Celina goes for the ball at Adams Park against Wycombe. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Town had been pinned in. They’d been dragged into a frenetic, scrappy, long ball game. They went behind after David Wheeler turned home at a corner. And then left-back Hayden Coulson was forced off injured.  

Bersant Celina’s deflected equaliser, which keeper David Stockdale should have done better with, came firmly against the run of play. And that’s when so many question marks hanging over the Blues began to be emphatically answered. 

Town at their most vulnerable right after they score? Not this time. They kicked on and, now playing by their own rules, finished the first half dominating possession and firmly on the front foot. 

Town vulnerable right after half-time? Not this time. Instead of receiving a demoralising blow soon after the restart, as they had done at Plymouth, they landed one themselves as Macauley Bonne netted following a fine piece of skill. 

Wes Burns with an effort on goal at Adams Park against Wycombe.

Wes Burns with an effort on goal at Adams Park against Wycombe. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Town unable to kill games off when on top? Not this time. The pressure stayed on and Wes Burns crashed home a brilliant third. 

Town unable to hold a lead? Not this time. The Blues withstood some prolonged pressure, defending manfully, before Celina raced away to roll the ball into an unguarded net in stoppage-time.  

Physical tests are now being passed. Game management is improving. You can see this new-look squad learning on the job by the week.   

That's seven wins from 11 in all competitions now. 

TWELFTH MAN 

Do not underestimate the role of the proverbial 12th man in this game. Town’s 1,800 travelling fans were magnificent. At times you forgot the Blues were playing away.

“The supporters were outstanding again,” enthused Cook, who admits he has been blown away by the size of the fanbase. 

“Their feverish enthusiasm will carry us home. They suck the ball in. We can’t disappoint them.” 

Ipswich celebrate Bersant Celina's second score with the fans at Adams Park.

Ipswich celebrate Bersant Celina's second score with the fans at Adams Park. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

To see the players and fans, quite literally, united in joy during that second half was a sight to behold. 

Cook’s post-match press conference had to be delayed as he turned and he acknowledged the acclaim of supporters floating their way to the exits. 

They’ll have floated into work this morning, too, even on just a few hours sleep. 

These sort of nights are what following your club the length and breadth of the county is all about. They make all the previous pain worth it. 

Easy tap-in: Bersant Celina's second goal at Adams Park.

Easy tap-in: Bersant Celina's second goal at Adams Park. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

GOALS, GOALS, GOALS 

We’re into November now and Town still haven't drawn a blank in a league game. 

That’s 34 goals scored in 16 games now. Remarkably, that’s only 12 shy of the total they ended on after all 46 matches last season.  

Keep this up and the Blues could get somewhere near the often talked about but rarely seen 100 goals tally. 

From day one it was clear this team would find the net. The bigger question mark was about keeping them out at the other end... 

Sam Morsy goes forward during the win over Wycombe Wanderers.

Sam Morsy goes forward during the win over Wycombe Wanderers. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

BACKBONE BUILDING 

Successful teams tend to have a solid spine. We’re now starting to see one emerge at Ipswich to add some substance to the stylish wing play. 

Christian Walton is making a big difference between the sticks. He made a jaw-dropping low save when the pressure was on at 3-1. Just as importantly, he commanded his box aerially too.  

In front of him, George Edmundson and Toto Nsiala were rock-solid. That partnership is growing by the week. 

Lee Evans slips as he tries to shoot at Adams Park against Wycombe.

Lee Evans slips as he tries to shoot at Adams Park against Wycombe. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

In front of them, Sam Morsy and Lee Evans were excellent. Morsy, in particular, was outstanding. He was the driving force behind this win.  

And then, of course, you’ve got Bonne leading the line. QPR, if you're reading, he's been rubbish. Honest.


STRENGTH IN DEPTH 

Janoi Donacien was still out ill. No problem. Cook was able to call upon Kane Vincent-Young again. After a slightly shaky start, he grew and grew into the game. 

Huge credit to the 25-year-old. It was him who set up Burns’ goal. The trademark stepovers were back. He looked like the attacking menace of old. It was a comeback display which will have done his confidence the world of good. 

Kane Vincent-Young in the penalty box during the win over Wycombe Wanderers.

Kane Vincent-Young in the penalty box during the win over Wycombe Wanderers. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Hayden Coulson limped off in the 22nd minute and Matt Penney wasn’t on the bench. No problem. On came Cameron Burgess to fill in, as he did at Lincoln earlier in the season, at left-back. That change ended up, arguably, being a blessing in disguise. The big Scot added some much-needed physicality at the back and his attacking game was also good. Huge credit to him too. 

The in-form Conor Chaplin was not deemed fit enough to go again having sat out all of training last week with a back problem. No problem. In stepped Celina. He won’t want to let go of that No.10 spot now. 

When Vincent-Young, understandably, ran out of steam there were no more defenders on the bench. Again, no problem. 

Burns dropped into right-back, Rekeem Harper came on as the attacking midfielder, Celina moved left and Kyle Edwards swapped wings.  

Rekeem Harper celebrates the win over Wycombe Wanderers.

Rekeem Harper celebrates the win over Wycombe Wanderers. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

The semi-fit Sone Aluko came on in stoppage-time, while Chaplin, Scott Fraser and Joe Pigott were unused subs. Tom Carroll and Jon Nolan are injured, while Louie Barry, James Norwood and Kayden Jackson weren't even in the 18. 

What depth this squad has. 

Whoever plays in these upcoming cup games against Oldham and Colchester now are going to be gagging to impress ahead of some crunch fixtures against top-six sides Oxford United (h), Sunderland (a) and Rotherham (h).

*Rubs hands in anticipation*. Bring it on.

Macauley Bonne celebrates his second half goal at Adams Park against Wycombe.

Macauley Bonne celebrates his second half goal at Adams Park against Wycombe. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Wes Burns celebrates his second half goal at Adams Park against Wycombe.

Wes Burns celebrates his second half goal at Adams Park against Wycombe. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter