Mike Bacon: You call it negativity Mr Lambert.... We call it reality!

Oli Hawkins has perhaps the best chance for Ipswich but his free header went into the arms of the ke

Oli Hawkins has perhaps the best chance for Ipswich but his free header went into the arms of the keeper at Oxford United Picture Pagepix Ltd - Credit: Pagepix

"Well Paul, that's 10 unbeaten and another four goals notched up tonight - five times now this season the team have done that. Nine clear at the top , you must be delighted? And of course Man City at home in the FA Cup next month."

Oh, how the likes of Brenner Woolley and Stuart Watson would have loved to be putting those questions to Paul Lambert at Oxford United last night.... Some hope!

Luke Chambers has a shot blocked at Oxford United Picture Pagepix Ltd

Luke Chambers has a shot blocked at Oxford United Picture Pagepix Ltd - Credit: Pagepix

What a mess.

Now, apparently it's the 'negative' journos not helping the a situation that sees Town failing to score in three, losing back-to-back games at home and continuing to struggle to beat the 'better sides' in English football's third tier.

We're just one step away from it being the fans' who are a pain... And we all know the rest.

Angry Lambert hits out

Sorry, Paul but your negative is our reality.

And when I say 'our' reality, I don't just mean journos, I mean fans as well - die-hard fans who are  being asked to accept fifth place in League One and some pretty dire football, as okay.

Most Read

Well, it's not okay.

Quite frankly the bar is so low at our football club right now, that a 0-0 draw at a team in the bottom five of League One is seemingly considered acceptable - 'I’m really pleased and proud of how we performed,' said Lambert.

Wow! One shot on target in 90 minutes is considered a 'proud' performance. Come on!

I know we have injuries but we also have a big squad, with senior players who have played higher than this level. We have quality young players in abundance. It's up to the manager to get the best out of them as a group.

Keanan Bennetts has a shot blocked at Oxford United Picture Pagepix Ltd

Keanan Bennetts has a shot blocked at Oxford United Picture Pagepix Ltd - Credit: Pagepix

And if it goes wrong, we don't want players blamed. We don't want journos blamed or banned. We don't want to know all about the manager's previous career with other 'big clubs', we just want a bit of honesty.

Town player ratings at Oxford

A bit of 'yeah, we're disappointed with that,' or 'we're lacking a bit of a cutting edge, but we'll keep working on it.'

And we certainly don't want young players thrown under the bus either, which rather bizarrely, after criticising a few of them himself already this season, Lambert accused the press of 'stoking' criticism.

Now, let's make one thing crystal clear.

Local journalists and fans of ITFC love nothing more than backing their young players. We've been brought up on a diet of young players coming through the ranks, from Sir Bobby in the 70s to George Burley in the 2000s.

Jack Lankester battles at Oxford United Picture Pagepix Ltd

Jack Lankester battles at Oxford United Picture Pagepix Ltd - Credit: Pagepix

We've been brought up on supporting 'one of our own', through thick and thin. Young players at Ipswich Town do not get a hard time from fans or press because we know how important they are to the future. So don't suggest to journalists they are stoking trouble towards them. Nothing could be further from the truth.

If you want my opinion, I feel very sorry for many of our young lads right now. Lads who are desperate to prove themselves, desperate to get the opportunity but are being chucked in the deep end at a club sailing headlong into goodness knows where.

I said last week in this column, how the hell are we going to hold onto them? I stick by that.

Because if the likes of Woolfenden, Dozzell, Lankester, Dobra, Bishop, McGavin, et al, do decide to leave Ipswich Town FC, it won't be because they were fed up with the media or fans!

It will be because they see no future for themselves. A road to nowhere. They will sense a life of League One football and for them life is too short, their careers are too short.

Like Mings, Cresswell, Wickham and Webster before them, if they do leave it will be because they want more - not anything the fans or media have ever done to them. And they would always leave with our blessing.

It's Plymouth away on Saturday - a team who were thumped 0-4 by Rochdale on Tuesday night! Their manager will be looking for a big response.

Let's just hope Town can turn this corner sooner rather than later.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter