Dave Gooderham: Talk, talk, talk... But on the pitch, what do we get?
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Another depressing result, another depressing performance... DAVE GOODERHAM reflects
"I'm doing this column because it's my responsibility as skipper but to be honest, I'm fed up talking about what we should be doing on the pitch. One look at the table tells you it's do or die time now for us this season and if we don't want to be in this league for another year, we have to start delivering - not talking about delivering. As players we have to stand up and be counted."
Luke Chambers' programme notes was followed by Alan Judge (rightly) claiming that fans are fed up of hearing Ipswich Town players say all the right things off-the-pitch, but do all the wrong things on it.
I don't blame Chambers or Judge.
For instance, what else was the skipper meant to say ahead of Tuesday night's must-win against Fleetwood?
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Unfortunately, with the quotes released just before the midweek disaster, it's only fair that we review them.
Chambers was right. It was "do or die", it was time for players - and the manager - to "stand up and be counted". The time for talking had to stop. We needed, nay demanded, a performance befitting a team fighting for promotion. A bit of guile wouldn't have gone amiss but let's have passion, determination and proof that this Ipswich Town cares about its recent plight.
- 1 Road closed as one person trapped in car on its roof
- 2 11 Suffolk hotels named among best in the country
- 3 Pictures show flooding along Suffolk coast
- 4 Major A14 roundabout may not reopen until next week as water main repaired
- 5 Widow: 'Heartless' council won't allow extra 4 inches for my husband's headstone
- 6 A140 closed in both directions after two vehicle crash
- 7 Suffolk shop wins 'Boutique Clothing Store of the Year'
- 9 Warning of seasonal canine disorder after dachshund Trudie taken ill
- 10 Caravan owners furious after park suddenly blocks sales of properties
Unfortunately, we got none of the above.
Ipswich were powder-puff in the 1-0 defeat at Fleetwood. Worse than that, for me they lacked heart and the confidence to actually think they could beat Fleetwood.
Forget their history, Fleetwood started the night in eighth position in League 1. Which meant seven teams in the third tier were currently better than them at the time of kick off. Of course, Ipswich weren't one of those seven teams and it largely showed.
The visitors passed with a degree of finesse in the first half, grabbed their goal and then oozed game management after the break. Ipswich had no answer.
We can point to injuries and suspension and Paul Lambert was clearly protecting Freddie Sears and Teddy Bishop who are not yet ready to start game after game.
But what about the 11 who did start on Tuesday night?
It should have been enough to test Fleetwood, to have more than one serious shot on target and to not rest our hopes on whether Tomas Holy is going up for a corner or not in the final minutes.
This has nothing to do with Fleetwood.
This is what Ipswich fans expect from any game this season, home or away. Not because we have a divine right to go up - we clearly don't.
But we do expect our team to perform with endeavour, with flair, with passion.
These are dire times at Portman Road and now, sadly, the season can't end quick enough.
It all started so well and though we were fearful of being dwarfed by the Championship big-spenders if we got promoted, we at least wanted a chance to test ourselves in the second tier once again.
As it is, we look nothing more than a mediocre League 1 side - as opposed to all those years of mediocrity in the second tier.
The table never lies, but occasionally it only gives a half-truth. We are ninth and only six points from the play-offs. But even the most optimistic fan must realise there is a much bigger gulf than that. I'm not just talking about rivals having games in hand.
I just can't see Ipswich winning enough games to claw back that deficit.
In truth, I can't see where the next win will come from.
Maybe it will come, against all odds, against the league leaders Coventry City at Portman Road on Saturday. But even that would paper over the cracks rather than offer a slim chink of hope.
Whether you blame Marcus Evans or Lambert, Paul Hurst or Mick McCarthy, the players or all of the above, these are dire times.
I am a bit angry at the situation. But most of all, I am more than a bit sad at the current state of my club.