Stuart Watson’s Sunday Verdict: Town always find a way to prevent pot boiling over
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
And so the heat is once again turned down on the bubbling pot of discontent.
Say what you like about Mick McCarthy and his Ipswich Town teams, but they do have an uncanny knack of pulling a result out of the bag just when they need it.
Bersant Celina’s wonder strike proved the difference against 10-man Leeds United in what was an always engaging match full of incident, atmosphere and needle at Portman Road on Saturday.
It may not have been the most convincing of performances, but it was undoubtedly a job well done in pressurised circumstances.
Luke Chambers’ charged up fist-pump celebrations at the end were born out of relief as much as pure unadulterated joy.
You may also want to watch:
The Blues could have ended the day nearer the drop zone than the top-six and below rivals Norwich City. Instead, they remain in the top-half and have closed the gap to the play-off places back to four ahead of Saturday’s trip to lowly Bolton.
We’ve been here before of course. There was growing vexation, disillusionment and weariness among Blues fans following a turgid 2016/17 campaign, but improved entertainment value and results during the opening five months of the campaign calmed the mood.
- 1 Matchday Recap: Town close out game to secure big win
- 2 Cook proud of players after Town hold on for elusive first win
- 3 Ratings: How the Ipswich Town players performed in their 1-0 Lincoln win
- 4 A14 blocked after three vehicle crash
- 5 Lincoln City 0-1 Ipswich Town: Bonne does the business as Blues earn first win
- 6 Major Lowestoft road partially closed due to police incident
- 7 Watch Town CEO Ashton wildly celebrate Lincoln win with Town fans
- 8 Stu says: Five observations following Ipswich's 1-0 win at Lincoln
- 9 The best roast dinners in Suffolk as chosen by our readers
- 10 Yellow weather warning for heavy rain issued for parts of Suffolk
A poor Christmas period and annual early FA Cup exit saw the aforementioned pot of discontent start to simmer again, but Town always find a way to prevent things boiling over though.
The technical limitations – which ultimately stem from a tight financial budget and lengthy injury list – are clear to see.
The strengths – a spirit and togetherness fostered by good man-management, careful character recruitment and an inspirational captain, plus a sprinkling of star quality thanks to repeated clever loan recruitment – go a very long way to counter-acting that though.
These columns are beginning to get a little cyclical in nature: Latching onto the merest hint of positivity and optimism, hoping against hope that true momentum can build, but ultimately returning to the deep-rooted belief that mid-table mediocrity beckons.
Town will win a few, draw a few and lose a few between now and end of season. McCarthy’s record in charge – W101 D73 L90 – acts as neat shorthand for the current state of inertia.
It could be a lot better, it could be a hell of a lot worse. That statement applies to so many aspects of the club.