Date: 1st February 2017 at 4:58pm
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Just 14,719 watched the match between Ipswich Town and Derby County last night at Portman Road and the stay-aways will probably think it was a rather good idea!

It is many years since Town recorded such a poor home attendance as this and whether it was indicative of the mood in Suffolk or the first part of many protests, only time will tell?

One thing is certain however. This was the poorest attended game at home since December 1999 and it surely speaks volumes for the football on display these days under manager Mick McCarthy.

It was an easy victory for The Rams who were 2-0 up after just 12 minutes and although Town huffed and puffed as usual, they lacked any cutting edge and their fragile confidence was cut to threads. Shortly after Bryson hit the crossbar before former striker Darren Bent added a third when he headed home, just before the interval.

In fairness to Bent he did not celebrate – perhaps empathising with the sorry state of affairs at Town these days.

Strangely, McCarthy decided to make three changes from the side that drew with Preston on Saturday and he brought in Paul Digby
Kevin Bru and Jordan Spence for Josh Emmanuel, Grant Ward and Toumani Diagouraga who missed out altogether.

Apart perhaps from Diagouraga, who was exhausted after half a game at Deepdale having been out of action for so long, the changes were not enforced and it was no surprise to see Digby substituted before the interval, as McCarthy already knew changes were needed.

The Doctor Jeckyll and Mr.Hyde nature of Ipswich Town these days is the only thing that is consistent. One day good. One day Bad. Sadly, there is no sign of any continuity going forward and Town now find themselves in 17th place in the Championship table.

Our only hope is that all those new recruits might make a difference but they are coming into a squad that is short on ideas and very short on confidence and the fact that Mick McCarthy was once again unable to address the striker void that has been our nemesis since Darly Murphy departed in the previous transfer window, simply adds to our woes.

For the record last night, Craig Bryson gave the Rams an early lead when he struck from the edge of the area and then Thomas Ince curled in another,as Derby took control very early on in this one.

Ipswich struggled for clear-cut chances, while Derby missed several during the game and now, as we face a series of very losable matches, we must just hope that our new batch of journeymen can impact upon what has been a thoroughly depressing season so far.

Frank Weston – Editor of Vital Ipswich


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