The Verdict: Disjointed defeat symptomatic of Ipswich Town’s chaotic season

Ipswich Town skipper Luke Chambers shrugs his shoulders after defeat at Rotherham. Photo: PAGEPIX

Ipswich Town skipper Luke Chambers shrugs his shoulders after defeat at Rotherham. Photo: PAGEPIX

Ipswich Town lost 1-0 at rock-bottom Rotherham yesterday. Blues reporter Stuart Watson gives his verdict.

It’s all about context.

A frothing at the mouth, angry reaction to Ipswich Town losing 1-0 at rock-bottom Rotherham United is understandable.

The Millers have just scraped past the lowest points total in Football League history. After the high of Easter weekend, this felt like yet another all too familiar back to earth with a bump moment for Blues fans.

It’s important to take a step back and look at this game in isolation though. Mick McCarthy made nine changes to his team for this dead rubber. Too many? In hindsight, yes, because it was a fairly disjointed display.

However, there were undoubted positives. Full debutants Danny Rowe and Dominic Samuel looked the part, teenager Andre Dozzell showed flashes of his huge potential, while it was yet more good experience for young full-backs Josh Emmanuel and Myles Kenlock. On another day, Town could easily have scored four.

With the Blues a club that seems stuck on pause, many frustrated supporters have argued that they would readily accept a low budget, a few defeats and mid-table mediocrity as long as the manager took more risks, built his team around homegrown talent and tried to play attacking, entertaining football.

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It would therefore be hypocritical to go overboard with any criticism of this one defeat.

That’s the short-term context. Of course there is a bigger picture context too.

The very fact Town managed to beat promotion-chasing Newcastle in scintillating fashion and then lose at relegated Rotherham was a perfect snap-shot of a highly-frustrating and inconsistent campaign.

There is no doubting that the bad days have outnumbered the good. Try as we might to delete them from our memory banks, we should not forget the shambolic FA Cup defeat at Lincoln, dire goalless home draw with Wolves and Boxing Day knockout by Fulham. That’s to name just three on a long list.

Yet the rare positive days have proven there is ability in this squad and plenty of players capable of getting fans off their seats. That’s what’s made the stagnation so hard to swallow.

This whole season – from transfers to tactics – has felt too disjointed and chaotic. What’s Town’s identity? Fans need to see concerted evidence of a masterplan in action.

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