Let’s face it, Rams were a class apart. Now, where is that FA Cup run?

Town fans watch the action during the Ipswich Town v Derby County game on Saturday. Picture: STEV

Town fans watch the action during the Ipswich Town v Derby County game on Saturday. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Northstander Terry Hunt looks back on the Derby defeat, but hopes the FA Cup may, for once in a long time, offer Town fans hope

“Mind the gap.”

That well-known saying crossed my mind an awful lot on Saturday afternoon as we were painfully reminded of the gulf in quality between Town and the best teams in the division.

Derby could and should have been three or four up at half-time.

It was only some wasteful finishing which prevented the game being over as a contest. We were left chasing shadows.

Let’s face it, the Rams were a class apart.

Only after their second goal did Ipswich come to life.

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Was that because the visitors had taken their foot off the pedal?

I hope not, but the suspicion lingers.

So, yet again we’ve been put firmly in our place by a team with genuine promotion aspirations.

We looked what we are - a team of honest triers, lacking in genuine quality. Admirable in a way, but going nowhere.

While Derby were passing and moving, we were lumping the ball in the air. Inevitably, it was coming straight back again.

There was lots of brave, last-ditch defending.

Again, admirable, but limited.

Is this season going to peter out, with us finishing mid-table yet again?

Well, that is largely down to the owner, Mr. Evans, and whether he is prepared to invest in the January window.

We’ve seen how spending £1m on Garner and Waghorn has made a difference.

Will the owner let the manager spend some money?

We all know it is badly needed, especially with our terrible luck with long-term injuries.

A couple of decent new arrivals could make the difference between the season drifting to mid-table mediocrity and a genuine play-off push.

So far, the signs aren’t good, with McCarthy talking about the loans market.

Let’s hope we get a pleasant surprise.

Of course, one way to lift what I fear will otherwise be a drab second half of the season is to embark on a cup run.

Our opportunity begins next Saturday, when we entertain Sheffield United in the FA Cup.

We fans love a cup run, and it can provide revenue for the club.

Is it too much to ask?