North Stander: Five little words are all that's needed.... We are not good enough.
PUBLISHED: 11:00 03 February 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
North Stander Terry Hunt looks back at another depressing afternoon at Portman Road...
Millions of words have been spoken and written about Ipswich Town’s plight this season, but only five are needed to sum it up: We are not good enough.
Paul Hurst’s lower league recruits are not good enough, and Paul Lambert’s bits and pieces January signings are not good enough either.
That’s why we have a miserable 18 points from 30 games, only three wins, and we’re eight points from safety.
Saturday’s game against Sheffield Wednesday was a microcosm of our whole season. Don’t listen to anyone who says the referee cost us the game. We were outplayed by a pretty average Wednesday team, rode our luck, but then conceded a soft last-minute decider.
All of the above has been happening throughout the season, whether under Hurst or Lambert. Yes, the ref was pretty awful, for the second Saturday running. But we mustn’t get into this “victim” mentality, and start to believe that the whole world is against us. I repeat – we are where we are due to our own shortcomings.
It doesn’t really seem to make any difference who plays.
On Saturday, the lack of Chambers and Collins from the back four looked pretty scary before kick-off, but in reality Bree, Nsiala, Pennington and Kenlock were no worse than their absent colleagues.
Yes, they gave away a soft goal, but that’s been happening all season, whoever has been playing in defence.
I know this won’t be a popular opinion, but I’m beginning to think that Knudsen is the best left-back we have on our books.
But, of course, he seems to be in footballing Siberia as far as being picked is concerned.
Up front, take your pick from Harrison, Jackson, Quaner, and Keane. None of them are going to score enough goals to bring about the miracle we need.
So we’re as good as down.
Yes, I know the gap to safety is “only” eight points, but the way we’re going it might as well be 80.
How many games will it take us to get eight points, for goodness sake?
There are a few positives. Well, one, actually.
It’s the return of Teddy Bishop. He’s obviously got a long way to go in terms of match sharpness, but he’s already showing glimpses of the exciting, classy player we remember from his early games.
If he manages to stay fit, then he will be a key player for us in League One.
There are fans who believe we should now be playing all of our kids, to give them first-team experience in readiness for what I still call the third division.
I can understand that argument, but how would that look? Just like surrender, I’m afraid.
What I would like to see, though, is a sensible, gradual introduction of some of our youngsters, probably from the bench. In that way, they will be more ready for battle in League One.
How are we feeling about the Norwich game?
Pretty apprehensive, I’m sure. I’ve seen lots of comments along the lines of “I’m watching the match from behind the sofa” or “I’m going to hide in the garden shed with no phone.”
I can understand the fear.
The Canaries are flying high, and look a pretty good bet for promotion. After watching them at Portman Road early in the season, I can’t get my head around their success. They were poor – just as bad as us.
But, since that game, they’ve been on a sensational run, characterised by a never-say-die spirit with lots of very late goals.
I can’t explain it, and neither can lots of Norwich supporters. But they’ll take it!
All things being equal, a top v bottom clash should only go one way, and logic points to a very painful afternoon for Town supporters.
But you know what?
It’s so ruddy obvious that Norwich will win comfortably that I have an odd feeling we’ll spring a surprise.
I’m going for the now traditional 1-1 draw.