Northstander: The worry button is officially pressed... But now is the time to stick together
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Terry Hunt looks back at Town’s defeat to Hull. Is it time to panic?
I have now officially pressed the worry button.
I must emphasise that the panic button remains untouched, although my finger is hovering above it after Saturday’s debacle at Hull.
That was undoubtedly the most concerning and depressing performance under Hurst.
Up to now, there have always been a few positives to take from every game. On Saturday, I couldn’t find anything to cheer me up.
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Hopeless Hull were there for the taking, but we managed to make them look good.
Gifting them two goals was unforgivable, and the whole Town display makes me worry about where this season is going.
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If we boil it down to the basics, the situation is pretty miserable. We make mistakes at the back, we create very few chances, and when we do have opportunities, we miss them. It doesn’t take a footballing genius to work out where all that will lead.
Inevitably, the mood of the fans is shifting. Increasing numbers are questioning whether the manager is out of his depth, whether the wholesale changes have destabilised the club, whether the new signings are good enough, and asking why home-grown youngsters like Andre Dozzell are not in the picture.
I’m asking those questions too, along with scratching my head over Bart’s exclusion.
Yes, he had a dodgy start to the season, but surely he had a few brownie points built up after three absolutely brilliant seasons, didn’t he?
Many supporters have already pressed the panic button, but in my opinion it’s still too early.
Some will no doubt accuse me of cosying up to the club by keeping the faith.
I can assure you that’s not the case. The reason I’m trying to stay positive despite everything is this: if we press the panic button at this stage, where does that leave us? We might as well still have McCarthy’s sterile, predictable brand of football.
The change of manager was absolutely the right thing to do.
The vast majority of us were happy to see the back of McCarthy, and the appointment of Hurst.
It’s still only mid-September.
Surely we have to back the manager, and the players?
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t worry.
Of course we should.
The form, which is getting worse, is extremely worrying. The manager and the captain both said as much, publicly, after hopeless Hull ran rings round us.
That, in a way, is a positive.
There is a brutal honesty which is part of the culture under Hurst.
Gone is the “us and them” attitude which was so obvious, and so alienating, under McCarthy.
Now, the manager is willing to share his frustrations with the most important people at the club – that’s us, the supporters.
You know, the people who McCarthy seemed to believe didn’t matter?
Let’s stick together.
We have two opportunities this week to start to put things right. We, the fans, can play a big part. 12th man, and all that. Siege mentality, if you like.
A final thought. I was born in March 1957, six weeks before Ipswich Town played their last game in the third division. So I don’t remember third division football, and I remain confident I won’t be watching third-tier football this time next year.
Blind faith? Maybe – but perhaps that’s just what’s needed at the moment.
THE visit of Brentford to Portman Road this week brings back happy, but ultimately frustrating, memories.
On Boxing Day 2014, I was among the Town fans who made the trip to Griffin Park to watch us take on fellow play-off contenders Brentford.
We played them off the park, with big Murph scoring after 19 seconds. Our 4-2 win sent us to the top of the Championship, albeit for only a couple of hours.
I remember thinking that, if Evans invested wisely in the January window, we would be back in the Premier League.
Well, we all know what happened, so I won’t dwell on that...suffice to say, four years on, we’re viewing Brentford’s visit with a fair amount of trepidation.
Once again, they’re playing attractive, successful football. I wonder if there are lessons for us to learn?