Dave Gooderham: Talk, talk, talk... But on the pitch, what do we get?

Town manager Paul Lambert and his players walk towards the Sir Bobby Robson stand, applauding fans,

Town manager Paul Lambert and his players walk towards the Sir Bobby Robson stand, applauding fans, but they were roundly booed by their supporters following the Fleetwood defeat. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Another depressing result, another depressing performance... DAVE GOODERHAM reflects

Ched Evans wheels away after scoring to give Fleetwood a 1-0 first half lead. Picture Steve Waller

Ched Evans wheels away after scoring to give Fleetwood a 1-0 first half lead. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

"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.

Luke Chambers has his head in his hands as Town manager Paul Lambert puts an arm around his skipper,

Luke Chambers has his head in his hands as Town manager Paul Lambert puts an arm around his skipper, as they walk off the pitch at the end of the 1-0 defeat by Fleetwood. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

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Unfortunately, we got none of the above.

MORE: 'I don't know what to say'.. Alan Judge

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.

Town manager Paul Lambert answers questions from EADT Chief Football Writer Stuart Watson, following

Town manager Paul Lambert answers questions from EADT Chief Football Writer Stuart Watson, following the Fleetwood defeat. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

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.

Andre Dozzell battles for the ball. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Andre Dozzell battles for the ball. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

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.

MORE: Fans protest at Portman Road

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.

Skipper Luke Chambers clears a dangerous ball. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Skipper Luke Chambers clears a dangerous ball. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

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.

Tyreece Simpson is pulled back by Fleetwood scorer Ched Evans. Photo: Steve Waller

Tyreece Simpson is pulled back by Fleetwood scorer Ched Evans. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

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