Monday verdict: Enjoy the moment – something special is developing at Ipswich Town
- Credit: Ashley Pickering
Just enjoy the moment.
Football fandom delivers many prolonged periods of anxiety, agony and then, ultimately, apathy.
Ipswich Town supporters have just gone through that range of emotions over the last decade.
So when something special starts to develop, as it undoubtedly is at Portman Road, the best thing to do forget the past, forget the future and soak up the present.
Saturday’s 4-1 home win over Leeds kept the Blues in second-place in the table with the halfway stage of the season fast-approaching.
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It was yet another test passed with flying colours. And having recovered from a fourth minute set-back in style, manager Mick McCarthy’s pre-match comments are worth revisiting.
“I would say to the supporters ‘stick with us’,” he said. “However it starts, however it goes and however it ends up they’ve got a team to be proud of.”
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That last sentence couldn’t be put better or more succinctly. And it’s a great mantra for the final 26 league games.
For now, let’s bask in some impressive statistics:
– There’s been just one defeat in the last 15 games. Town have scored in every single one of those matches.
– During a seven-game unbeaten run the Blues have now claimed 17 points from a possible 21.
– Daryl Murphy is now the Championship’s stand-alone leading scorer (13), already equalling his career-best tally from last season.
This is a close-knit, low-budget, high-spirited squad who are all playing for each other and their manager. Nothing gets left out on the pitch and they are more than willing and ready to win the physical battle.
And while opposition managers worry about that, the likes of David McGoldrick – only now back at his brilliant best following a lengthy injury – Tyrone Mings and Teddy Bishop can carry on proving this team is not devoid of skill and finesse either.
There’s a fantastic blend of experienced leaders with know-how and fearless, exciting young talent. And, while limited in numbers, this squad has got many strings to their bow.
Next up is a trip to Bolton, a side in top form under new boss Neil Lennon. Then it’s festive games against fellow high-fliers Middlesbrough (h) and Brentford (a).
The hurdles will keep on coming, but there’s no reason to see why this Town team can’t keep taking them in their stride.