North Stander: But it’s so difficult NOT to get carried away!

Ipswich Town fans at Gillingham on Saturday. Picture Pagepix

Ipswich Town fans at Gillingham on Saturday. Picture Pagepix

North Stander TERRY HUNT is enjoying life at the top of the table, as all Town fans are


I will admit I was worried when I saw our line-up at Gillingham.

Three centre-halves? Gwion Edwards at wing-back? Alan Judge alongside Kayden Jackson up front? Why so many changes?

Well, that's why Paul Lambert is an experienced football manager and I"m not.

Because it worked an absolute treat, and once again I catch myself taking sneaky looks at the League One table to see our team sitting proudly at the very top.


It really is beyond my wildest dreams. Nine games unbeaten, five clean sheets in a row, only four goals conceded all season. Two points clear at the top. At the moment, we're taking League One by storm.

Back to the starting line-up at Gillingham. As I said, I was concerned by the changes in personnel and system. Three at the back was what 'Lambo' had wanted to try at MK Dons, only for it to be abandoned inside the first minute.

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He went back to it at Gillingham, and all three centre-halves were outstanding. I wonder if we'll see it again when Tranmere come to Portman Road next Saturday?

It obviously gives the wing-backs the freedom to get forward, and Kane Vincent-Young certainly made the most of it. We have found a real gem here. Already a candidate for Player of the Year.


James Norwood is another who has obviously made a great start to his Town career. In just a few weeks, he's established himself as a cult hero. First and foremost, he's a good player, and we lack a focal point up front when he's not on the pitch.

But, as well as his goals, it's his big personality which has endeared him to Town supporters. The latest example came last week when he declared himself fit despite aggravating a groin problem at MK Dons.

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I bet we can all name and shame a few characters who would happily use a groin problem as an excuse to spend a month in the treatment room! Not Norwood - he just wants to get on the pitch and play, and he'll go through the pain barrier to do that.


You can bet your bottom dollar he will be in the starting line-up against his old team next Saturday - and he'll be desperate to get a goal or two as well.

Other Lambert signings are also impressing. I don't think the arrival of James Wilson had many of our pulses racing, did it? But I tell you what - he has slotted in brilliantly and looks really comfortable whenever he plays.

The same goes for goalkeeper Tomas Holy. I guess quite a few of us were nervous when Bart went, and not sure about his replacement. But, after one or two shaky moments early on in the season, Holy is now looking very solid.

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I know it's very early days - we're still in September - but it really is difficult to avoid getting carried away. What a contrast to last season, and those miserable and increasingly toxic campaigns under Mick McCarthy.

Back then, it was difficult to find anything to get excited about. Now, Ipswich fans are having a party every weekend. Fantastic support again at Gillingham, and there would have been many more Tractor Boys and Girls if numbers hadn't been restricted.

It was interesting to see owner Marcus Evans on the pitch, alongside Town legend Terry Butcher, before the game at MK Dons. Evans seems increasingly comfortable in the public eye nowadays.

I wonder if he now regrets all those years of anonymity? I know he had his reasons, but in my view it was a mistake.

You can't really have a football club owner who the fans don't recognise.

So, another cracking weekend for Town supporters. Paul Lambert, of course, keeps his feet on the ground, and has warned us that we will lose games this season. Of course we will - but let's keep this brilliant unbeaten run going as long as possible.

Let's see the phrase "Ipswich Invincibles" creeping into discussions. It has a certain ring, doesn't it?

The only slightly irritating aspect of Saturday was Manchester City's failure to "Free the Ipswich Nine."

I bet I wasn't the only one who was following events at City very closely!

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When they went five up inside 20 minutes, hopes were high that our dreadful 9-0 defeat against Man Utd in 1995 would finally be erased from the record books.

But City fell one goal short - and, inevitably, Sky Sports treated us to painful footage of Andy Cole scoring one of his five that day.

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