Stuart Watson’s Sunday Verdict: I’m in love with the shape of you... Looking good in a 3-5-2

Kane Vincent-Young is hugged by teammates James Norwood and Jon Nolan after scoring Town's fourth in

Kane Vincent-Young is hugged by teammates James Norwood and Jon Nolan after scoring Town's fourth in the 4-1 victory over Tranmere. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town remain top of the League One table following yesterday’s 4-1 home win against Tranmere Rovers. STUART WATSON takes a look at the bigger picture.

Town manager Paul Lambert celebrates with fans after the victory over Tranmere. Picture: Steve Wa

Town manager Paul Lambert celebrates with fans after the victory over Tranmere. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

I'm in love with the shape of you.

Looking good in a 3-5-2.

If not we'll just push up Skuse.

I'm in love with K-VY...

Luke Garbutt slides on his knees after scoring from a free kick to give Ipswich Town a 1-0 lead.

Luke Garbutt slides on his knees after scoring from a free kick to give Ipswich Town a 1-0 lead. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller


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Suffolk boy Ed Sheeran - the man with red hair and a blue heart - was, once again, in attendance at Portman Road yesterday. It seems fitting to adapt one of his hits into a Portman Road chorus.

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Plus, multiply, divide - whatever sums you want to do, the maths are looking good for Ipswich Town.

First in the League One table, 10 games unbeaten. Won seven, drawn three. Scored 20, conceded five. One manager of the month award, one PFA Player of the Month award, one foot in the knockout rounds of the EFL Trophy.

Jon Nolan celebrates his goal in the 4-1 victory over Tranmere Rovers. Picture: Steve Waller w

Jon Nolan celebrates his goal in the 4-1 victory over Tranmere Rovers. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Next up is the long trip to high-flying Fleetwood. Paul Lambert versus Joey Barton on the touchlines. The chance to open a seven-point gap to the play-off places with a quarter of the campaign played... Even Marcus Evans is taking selfies with fans these days.

Getting a little carried away? You bet. We've waited a long time for a moment like this.

Yes, I know, top of the table clashes used to come at Highbury in North London, not North Lancashire. Frankly, I don't care.

I wasn't around for those halcyon days. And there are a generation of fans younger than me who don't even remember the Premier League. So being top of the table, no matter the level, is something to be unashamedly celebrated and enjoyed.

MORE: Sunday Snap: Christening Portman Road's newest addition, separating excellence and a 'dodgy keeper'

There will be some that say Ipswich are winning games based purely on having the best players in the division and that success is somehow happening in spite of Paul Lambert, not because of him.

The same pessimistic people will be telling anyone who listens that third-tier success is not something to be proud of for a club of this size and that these performances, yet to come together for a full 90 minutes, are nowhere near good enough for the Championship.

To those people I say stop being so masochistic and miserable. Enjoy the here and now. Otherwise what's the point?

A fist pump towards fans from Jon Nolan the Ipswich Town fans after his goal to give the home side a

A fist pump towards fans from Jon Nolan the Ipswich Town fans after his goal to give the home side a 3-1 lead in the Tranmere Rovers match. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

I'd also remind them that Lambert is the man who, having put pressure on Evans, brought in Kane Vincent-Young, Luke Garbutt, Tomas Holy, James Norwood and James Wilson to name but five. A hell of a lot of thought went into that recruitment.

MORE: Player ratings: How the Ipswich Town players performed in the 4-1 victory over Tranmere Rovers

Each player's suitability was assessed on far more than just quality. Chemistry, balance, versatility and character all came into consideration. What they'd each bring to the dressing room, as well as to the field, was deemed vitally important.

We love Holy's humbleness as much as his saves. We love Norwood's personality as much as his goals. You get the point.

James Norwood and Jon Nolan celebrate with Kane Vincent-Young after his goal to give Town a 4-1 lead

James Norwood and Jon Nolan celebrate with Kane Vincent-Young after his goal to give Town a 4-1 lead in the Tranmere Rovers match. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

It's a reminder that the phrase 'good pros' doesn't have to damn with faint praise.

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Have you ever watched University Challenge and tried to play along at home? 'Your starter for 10...' is a phrase that leaves me smiling ruefully in the utter knowledge I'm about to be reminded just how uneducated I really am.

Town, like me, pulled just one or two answers out the bag during last season's embarrassment. They were out of their depth.

A fist pumping Luke Garbutt celebrates after scoring from a free kick to give Ipswich Town a 1-0 lea

A fist pumping Luke Garbutt celebrates after scoring from a free kick to give Ipswich Town a 1-0 lead. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The thing is, they're not playing University Challenge anymore. They've been demoted to The Chase or Tipping Point. And there's nothing wrong with that. Entertainment comes in all shapes and forms. Winning is winning. Pour yourself a brew and enjoy.

MORE: Stu says: Five observations following Ipswich Town's 4-1 home win against Tranmere

Actually, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire is perhaps a better quiz analogy. Some of the early questions are virtual gimmes. If you are pretty competent then you've got a great shot at making £32k. Beyond that it's as much about luck as knowledge.

Town, with all their lifelines intact, are undoubtedly in a good position to launch an assault on the big prize. Let's hope the questions keep falling nicely.

Kane Vincent-Young celebrates his goal to give Town their fourth of the afternoon. Picture: Steve

Kane Vincent-Young celebrates his goal to give Town their fourth of the afternoon. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

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'This will turn... and when it does it will be a great ride'.

Those were Lambert's words less than a month into the job. Forget 'PR Paul', it's more a case of 'prophetic Paul'.

Deep down he probably knew that the 'turn' would come a step down the pyramid. He might not have admitted it publicly, but preparations for League One started long before it was mathematically confirmed.

Paul Lambert is a Blue: The Town manager applauds fans after his sides 4-1 victory on Saturday. P

Paul Lambert is a Blue: The Town manager applauds fans after his sides 4-1 victory on Saturday. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The easy, most selfish option would have been to try and scrap a way to safety and land himself a tidy bonus. Instead, he decided to really get to the root of the club's slow and steady decline and start work on some long-term fixes - both on and off the field.

That took some serious cohones given the volatile nature of his job.

MORE: 'The place is bouncing... But there's a long way to go' - Lambert on 4-1 win against Tranmere

The true success of this turnaround isn't really the results. It's not really even about the performances (the best thing about this start is that it still feels like the best is to come). It's about the reconnection with the fan base.

Kayden Jackson is congratulated by James Norwood and Luke Garbutt after restoring Town's lead with t

Kayden Jackson is congratulated by James Norwood and Luke Garbutt after restoring Town's lead with their second to take then 2-1 up. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The club is getting an identity again. Small things make a difference. You might not have noticed, but the nets are now blue and white.

Call it cheesy, call it manufactured, call it whatever you like. It's fun, it's attracting a new generation of supporters and it's got the wider football world paying attention to a grand old club again.

Luke Garbutt wheels away after giving Town a 1-0 lead in the Ipswich Town v Tranmere Rovers (Sky Bet

Luke Garbutt wheels away after giving Town a 1-0 lead in the Ipswich Town v Tranmere Rovers (Sky Bet League one) match. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

James Norwood whips a ball in on the half hour. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

James Norwood whips a ball in on the half hour. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Luke Garbutt's free kick beats Tranmere keeper Scott Davies to give Town a 1-0 lead. Picture: Ste

Luke Garbutt's free kick beats Tranmere keeper Scott Davies to give Town a 1-0 lead. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Kane Vincent-Young celebrates with James Norwood after scoring to give Town a 4-1 lead in the Ipswic

Kane Vincent-Young celebrates with James Norwood after scoring to give Town a 4-1 lead in the Ipswich Town v Tranmere Rovers (Sky Bet League one) match. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

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