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Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

The Verdict: Relief is the buzzword but Town can’t bask in Swansea win... there’s still plenty of work to do

PUBLISHED: 13:00 07 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:03 07 October 2018

Ipswich manager Paul Hurst gets a hug from his Captain Luke Chambers after the win at Swansea City Picture Pagepix

Ipswich manager Paul Hurst gets a hug from his Captain Luke Chambers after the win at Swansea City Picture Pagepix

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Football writer Andy Warren gives his verdict at the end of a dramatic week for Ipswich Town.

Ipswich captain Luke Chambers saluted the visiting fans with his traditional fist pumps after the victory. Picture PagepixIpswich captain Luke Chambers saluted the visiting fans with his traditional fist pumps after the victory. Picture Pagepix

Relief. It’s a word we’ve heard a lot since 4.54pm on Saturday.

You could feel it in the air as the final whistle went at the Liberty Stadium.

You could see it on the pitch as Luke Chambers embraced manager Paul Hurst before heading to the away support to thump the air with his fist.

You could hear it both in the crowd’s reaction and in Hurst’s words as he spoke post-match.

Town fans celebrate Trevoh Chalobah's winning goal at Swansea Picture: PAGEPIXTown fans celebrate Trevoh Chalobah's winning goal at Swansea Picture: PAGEPIX

I defy anyone not to feel pleased for the Ipswich Town manager after he finally got his first win in charge of his new side. It’s been a long time coming and there’s been plenty of scrutiny, questions and doubt along the way, but the monkey’s off his side’s back.

MORE: Highlights: Relive the highs, the lows, the dramatic moments and relief of Ipswich Town’s first win

His players showed character in the extreme to secure victory against a good Swansea side. Character that has been questioned by those on the outside looking in, as well as internally, during the early weeks of Hurst’s reign. The scene at the final whistle was one of a manager, players and support united.

But this was just game. One long overdue win.

The Ipswich manager was himself quick to insist, both pre and post-match, that securing a maiden victory doesn’t automatically mean the Blues are destined to shoot up the Championship table with ease.

It’s not ‘lift off’ just yet.

MORE: Ipswich Town transfer rumour: Arsenal and Tottenham linked with renewed Dozzell interest

There is still an awful lot of work to do and, while it seems silly to say this given Ipswich have won just one of their 12 league games to date, feet must stay on the ground.

Ipswich manager Paul Hurst applauds the away fans after the win at Swansea City. Picture PagepixIpswich manager Paul Hurst applauds the away fans after the win at Swansea City. Picture Pagepix

“We’ve certainly not cracked it” – were Hurst’s words on Saturday evening.

Reaching the second international break of the season without a win to their name was both unthinkable and worryingly probable prior to Saturday’s game and there’s no doubt those two weeks would have been extremely difficult for Hurst had that been the case.

That break can now be used to prepare for five games coming immediately after, that you feel could shape Ipswich Town’s season from this point.

MORE: ‘He was outstanding, worked hard and used his brain’ - Hurst full of praise for Sears

Trevoh Chalobah is mobbed by team-mates and supporters following his winning goal. Picture PagepixTrevoh Chalobah is mobbed by team-mates and supporters following his winning goal. Picture Pagepix

The visit to Leeds aside, in many ways a free hit, the Blues face four sides in the bottom third of the table.

Games against QPR, Millwall, Preston and Reading give Ipswich an opportunity to build on the positivity of Saturday. Success would mean a move up the standings and the chance for Hurst to continue to build his foundations in the relative safety of mid-table. Disappointment would surely mean a relegation dogfight looms.

The hope has to be that the Ipswich players can benefit from playing without the winless weight round their necks, freed from the pressure the wait for victory had built above them.

Hurst’s Blues have had good spells and taken positives from the majority of their games this season but had not been able to put together complete displays – that’s the goal now they have proven to themselves they can win as a team.

Trevoh Chalobah celebrates his winner at Swnasea City. Picture PagepixTrevoh Chalobah celebrates his winner at Swnasea City. Picture Pagepix

MORE: ‘It was a relief when that final whistle went’ - Hurst praises character of his players after first win

The questions still remain despite Saturday’s win, though.

Can the players stepping up to the Championship for the first time produce on a consistent basis and en masse? Can the experienced players at the club step up and help them do it? Can Kayden Jackson and Freddie Sears, who was excellent in south Wales, shoulder the striking load in the absence of Jon Walters and Ellis Harrison?

A quarter of the season has now gone with three-quarters remaining and plenty of pieces of the puzzle to find.

A vital one was put in place on Saturday, much later than anyone dared imagine in August, with plenty of hard work still to come if Hurst and Ipswich are to get to where they want to go.

But let’s all another small step in the right direction, for two weeks at least.

MORE: Andy’s Angles: Five observations as Blues secure first win under Hurst at Swansea

Captain Luke Chambers wants his Ipswich Town future sorted sooner rather than later but knows the club’s precarious position means he may have to be patient.

Paul Lambert believes striker Ellis Harrison has something to offer his side as the Welshman works towards full fitness.

Callum Connolly expects to take on an Ipswich Town side ‘playing with freedom’ when he makes his return to Portman Road tomorrow afternoon.

Oxford United boss Karl Robinson wants to sign Ipswich Town loanee Jordan Graham as soon as the January transfer window opens.

Ipswich Town take on a Wigan Athletic side including a number of familiar faces tomorrow. ANDY WARREN takes a look.

Ipswich Town’s East Anglian Derby visit to Norwich City will be shown live on Sky Sports.

Today we start a special countdown to Christmas, Ipswich Town style, with the 12 Greats of Christmas - a rundown of the 12 greatest Town players who’ve ever laced on boots, culminating on the big day itself with the Blues’ best-ever.

Ipswich Town have taken up their option to extend Freddie Sears’ contract until the summer of 2020.

Jon Nolan is back in the team under Paul Lambert. STUART WATSON spoke to the midfielder about Paul Hurst’s sacking, stepping up to the Championship and the visit of Wigan.

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