Monday verdict: Fateful scenarios aplenty, but Ipswich Town have to get the job done against Cardiff first

Christophe Berra (left) is congratulated by Tyrone Mings following his late winner against Blackpool

Christophe Berra (left) is congratulated by Tyrone Mings following his late winner against Blackpool. Photo: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

It’s hard not to begin thinking about certain scenarios that seem written in the stars.

Mick McCarthy could lead his Ipswich Town team to victory back at his former club Wolves on Saturday, the Blues taking a giant step towards securing a top-six finish in the process.

Wouldn’t it be typical if a certain Jordan Rhodes did something against Ipswich on the final day of the season?

The prospect of an East Anglian derby match in the play-offs still won’t go away either.

Anything seems possible in this absorbing and nervy Championship promotion race; one that makes you constantly re-evaluate the odds of success and failure on an almost daily basis.

Numerous results went against McCarthy’s side on Easter Monday as they dropped to eighth following a disappointing 2-1 defeat at Huddersfield. On Saturday, having made hard work of a 3-2 home win over rock-bottom Blackpool, they moved back into sixth as Derby and Brentford played out a lunchtime draw before Wolves lost at Birmingham.

Ipswich seemed nailed on for a top-six finish at one stage, then they looked to have blown it, now they are very much back in the mix.

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Nine points separates the top eight sides with four games to go. It looks to be a four-way fight between Bournemouth, Norwich, Watford and Middlesbrough for the two automatic promotion spots and a four-way mini-league involving Derby, Ipswich, Brentford and Wolves for fifth and sixth spots.

Points mean prizes. The prize on offer is bigger than ever before. Fittingly, therefore, it looks like more points than ever before are going to be required to secure a Championship play-off place.

Ipswich have now exceeded their final points tally of the 2013/14 season. This, already guaranteed, will be the club’s best campaign in a decade.

Mick McCarthy’s men are now just one shy of the finishing points total that Brighton ended up with in sixth place last year. Seventy-one points would have been enough to secure a play-off spot in three of the previous seven seasons.

And yet, with 12 points still up for grabs, a place in the end of season shoot-out is still far from secure.

It would be enjoyable if it wasn’t so damned stressful.

All of the aforementioned potential fairytale/nightmare moments of fate will have been discussed among Town fans.

First, however, the Blues have to get the job done again at Portman Road tomorrow night. The opposition, mid-table Cardiff, have talented players, little to play for and, as a result, have been highly inconsistent of late.

If there is to be a magic moment at Molineux this weekend, Town can’t afford to slip back into cruise control.

As the old cliché goes, it’s about taking one game at a time.

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