Monday verdict: An over-reaction in some quarters, but one or two new faces would provide a boost
Strengthen from a position of strength.
That’s what their rivals are currently doing and that’s what Ipswich Town need to do this week before the January transfer window closes.
This time last year there were the telltale signs that Blues, who play with such physicality and work-rate, were beginning to look a little jaded.
Freddie Sears and Noel Hunt were added to the squad, both of whom turned out to be good signings, and Town managed to get things going again enough to secure sixth spot.
Fast-forward 12 months and you get the feeling that one or two fresh faces are required to give everyone a timely confidence boost.
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That rip-roaring 2-1 win over Leeds United at Portman Road was less than a fortnight ago, but it already seems far in the distant past.
Town looked weary in the 1-1 home stalemate with Preston that followed, then came the debacle of the FA Cup loss at Portsmouth, followed by Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at top-six rivals Birmingham.
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It’s at this point where a healthy dose of perspective needs to be introduced before the transfer debate continues.
Town actually played pretty well at St Andrew’s. The game changed on the controversial dismissal of Jonathan Douglas seconds before the interval. The spirited 10-man visitors were only killed off by two thunderbolt volleys.
The unreflective scoreline made supporters who were not in attendance feel worse than they should have done. And it brought up all the ill-feeling of Mick McCarthy’s so-called ‘disrespecting of the FA Cup’.
It’s a week which has sparked a massive over-reaction in some quarters.
This, remember, was only Town’s third league defeat in 16.
But when McCarthy repeats his rhetoric that he is no rush to make additions to his squad, then we have to hope that is purely a bluff tactic.
Without the technical talents of the injured duo of David McGoldrick and Teddy Bishop, a genuine game-changing midfielder would help unlock the door when the onus is on Town to dictate the play at Portman Road.
And, with the greatest respect, few are buying his insistence that Jay Tabb and Larsen Toure are the answer following the left field departure of Tommy Oar.
Owner Marcus Evans understandably tightened the purse strings, but now he has latitude to spend again. It might just be required if Town are to keep pace in the promotion race.