Monday verdict: Town on exactly the same points as they were at this stage of the 1999/00 promotion season

David McGoldrick watches his second half shot fizz across the goalmouth and wide at Bolton

David McGoldrick watches his second half shot fizz across the goalmouth and wide at Bolton

Win at home and draw away – it tends to be the formula for success in most divisions, especially the Championship.

That’s why Saturday’s goalless draw at Bolton – and Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy’s ‘no such thing as a bad away point’ mantra – shouldn’t be sniffed at.

Yes, the Blues dominated the second half and, with keeper Andy Lonergan making two fine saves from Jay Tabb, it did feel a little like an opportunity missed.

The fact there was a slight element of disappointment surrounding the result, against a side now unbeaten in six, is further proof of just how far the Suffolk side have come.

In a league that looks as though it’s going to be as tight as ever, the teams that display the most consistency over the course of 46 games will remain at the top.

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And the well-oiled machine that is Ipswich Town have now lost just once in 17 matches. The Blues are down to fourth in the table, with Bournemouth and Middlesbrough the new top two. The latter, fresh from a 2-0 win over previous league-leaders Derby, arrive at Portman Road on Saturday.

There’s still a long way to go yet though. We shouldn’t get too caught up in the fact that Brentford, Watford and Norwich all made up some ground with wins at the weekend.

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For those that read into such things, Town are on exactly the same number of points at the 21-game mark – 38 – as they were in George Burley’s promotion season of 1999/00.

They are four points behind where Joe Royle’s third-place finishers of 2004/05 were at this stage and four ahead of where John Lyall’s second-tier champions of 1991/92 were.

While other teams lurch from purple patches to tough times and back again, Town can just keep ticking along nicely.

An 11-month home record that reads won 13, drawn five, lost three is the cornerstone to their current success.

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