Monday verdict: Cool heads required at Ipswich Town – thankfully there are plenty of them

Tommy Smith and Luke Hyam, pictured following Saturday's 1-0 home defeat to Derby County

Tommy Smith and Luke Hyam, pictured following Saturday's 1-0 home defeat to Derby County - Credit: Gregg Brown

They’ve bounced back in spectacular fashion once this season, now Ipswich Town need to do it again.

The Blues produced a below-par performance in a massive game at Portman Road on Saturday, losing 1-0 to Championship promotion rivals Derby County. Tommy Smith’s error was the difference in an edgy game, Chris Martin pouncing for the only goal of the game in the 57th minute.

Two major refereeing decisions went against Mick McCarthy’s men – John Eustace somehow escaping a second yellow card just before half-time and big penalty appeals waved away just after the restart – but it was still a flat display.

It was a game that brought back memories of the 1-0 home defeat to fierce rivals Norwich City little more than four months earlier, a goal scored from an offside position the difference that day.

Rather than feel sorry for themselves though, Town responded in superb fashion. Just one defeat in 21 matches followed.

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A similar reaction, starting with Wednesday night’s FA Cup home replay against Premier League side Southampton, would see the Blues go up automatically, no doubt.

There’s certainly no reason to think that the wheels are suddenly going to fall off. Not once, in 27 fixtures, have they been outplayed.

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Some supporters may be capricious following this set-back; the same people who have been lauding the team now demanding January recruits and some sort of timely show of ‘ambition’ from the club.

There’s no need to throw the baby out with the bath water though. Nothing is suddenly broken. Let’s not forget what has got Ipswich to this point.

McCarthy’s consistent demeanour off the pitch – win, lose or draw – is a big part of the reason his players have been so consistent on it. Cool heads are required at Portman Road. Thankfully, there are plenty of them.

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