Fuller Flavour: A straight road of hope ahead, rather than a cul-de-sac of apathy

Fans enjoy the Ipswich Town v Blackburn game at Portman Road. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Fans enjoy the Ipswich Town v Blackburn game at Portman Road. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Karl Fuller returns for a new season of Fuller Flavour, starting with his thoughts on the campaign ahead and Town’s opening draw with Blackburn.

Supporters at the end of the Town v Blackburn clash. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Supporters at the end of the Town v Blackburn clash. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Welcome to another season of Fuller Flavour as for the seventh successive season, I share my thoughts, hopes and concerns in yet another search for glory. Glory? Ok, let’s settle for enjoyable times ahead hey!

It was somewhat a relief to get the new season underway. I was just starting to get irritable on meaningless Saturday afternoons and ever since the arrival of Paul Hurst, like just about every other Town fan, I was itching for this new era to get underway.

It’s been an interesting time for transfer news – all the links that we’ve been connected to and the on-going Martyn Waghorn saga as much as the six new signings we’ve made to date.

MORE: Mick McCarthy covers Ipswich on Sky

There have been concerns that our permanent signings have come from League One and Two clubs and we’re not getting the Championship experience that many believe is required.

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I wouldn’t worry too much about that. Town have had a fairly good record over the years of picking up players from lower leagues and developing them into decent players.

I know one or two have not worked out so well, but I’d rather take our current approach than offering one last decent pay to a journeyman player in the twilight of his career.

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Time will tell of course how everything will pan out, but I believe that the situation can only warrant a positive mindset from us all.

Tayo Edun on the ball in the Blackburn game. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Tayo Edun on the ball in the Blackburn game. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

We wanted change, we’ve got change and so far, everything Paul Hurst has had to say has ticked all the boxes. He really is a breath of fresh air to listen to and stamping his own mark on the first-team so quickly has been great to see.

Ipswich fans have been starved of relative success for years and nowadays, with so much money involved even at Championship level, I wonder if we’ll ever have any success again. But what constitutes success?

MORE: Stu says - thoughts from Town’s opening draw

One can point to Cardiff last season who did well to get promoted for what they spent compared to others. We’d do unbelievably well to emulate that feat.

But what about how Millwall, Brentford or Preston fared last term? If we can have a season where we see more attractive football and show signs of progress, would that be successful enough?

The club has done so much right in the summer that it’s almost impossible not to be excited about the new era. Last Thursday, I was looking forward to getting a glimpse of our ‘new’ Ipswich and getting back amongst my fellow fans in the Sir Bobby Robson lower. Then come bedtime on Thursday night, my 11-year-old daughter who got disillusioned with everything back on Boxing Day after a drab 0-0 draw against QPR, announced that she wanted to be a part of it on Saturday. I certainly wasn’t going to let that plea pass by!

A relocation to the top of the Cobbold Stand was required. She doesn’t like to be too high or too low and a front row seat was perfect for her.

MORE: ‘A fair result’ - Hurst on Town’s opener

Coincidentally, a guy I sat next to had his son with him who had also had enough of things on Boxing Day and was making his first return since then too. If nothing else, the young ‘uns are happy to be back!

Football is undoubtedly a game of emotions and we certainly experienced a few of them against Blackburn. From a glorious start when Gwion Edwards headed us in front, to a feeling of déjà vu when we went 2-1 down, to the feeling of relief when Tayo Edun netted an equaliser.

A draw was a fair result and there were moments to be concerned about, but this a brand-new project that will take time to gel. There was also much to look forward to.

I certainly cannot wait to see more of Edwards, Edun and Trevoh Chalobah, for example. It is clear that reinforcements are still required and hopefully they will arrive this week.

The journey has now started, with a straight road of hope stretching ahead rather than a cul-de-sac of apathy that tended to bring us back to where we started.

It won’t always be an easy ride but at least it will be with real direction moving forward.

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