Date: 17th January 2018 at 5:12pm
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Well before you ask, no I don’t expect Town to take the second automatic promotion place but what is extraordinary about this season so far is that if you take Wolves out of the equation, there is little to choose between the rest.

Second placed Derby County are a staggering 10 points behind the runaway leaders and then we have cardiff City on 50 points in third place as things stand.

Only three points separates those remaining three play off placed teams and Town, who currently lie in 12th, are just 4 points short of sixth position so amazingly, the Tractor Boys should not be written off quite yet!

As manager Mick McCarthy alluded to after our narrow 1-0 win over Leeds, it was vital that the Blues took all three points and so it was to prove. Other results went our way and just when we thought our season was all but over, we have been forced to think again!

Match winner Bersant Celina remains upbeat about the possibility of Town going on a winning streak and remember, almost every season, some club from midtable suddenly springs into some form and before you know it they are in those play-off places.

Celina explained why he thought Ipswich still had belief when he said, ‘We still have plenty to play for. People are watching so you have to do your best. It is no good thinking the season is over or you are not playing for anything.’

In fact, the season that Sunderland got automatic promotion to the Premier League, under former boss Roy Keane, they were struggling until around Christmas and then hit an unstoppable run of form.

Now I am not suggesting for one moment that Town could emulate that remarkable feat but we should not be too quick to dismiss our play-off hopes because in this league, you just never know?

Town travel to Lancashire on Saturday to face a struggling Bolton Wanderers side, who have a – 20 goal difference. Last Saturday The Trotters lost to Brentford away 2-0 but their form has been poor for most of the season and manager Phil Parkinson said after the defeat that his team made up with commitment what they lacked in spending power and technique.

‘The resources we have to work with compared to other teams means we are way off in terms of money but in terms of character we are right up there, as we saw today. They are a great group of lads who give their all in every single game and I can’t ask any more than that.’

If those words sound familiar it is because we have heard it said many times before much closer home, and unless we invest in the transfer market in January, those play-off hopes will stay I fear, just a little too far away.

The good news for the Blues is that Jordan Spence ends his three game ban and is available for selection this weekend.

Frank Weston – Editor of Vital Ipswich


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