Date: 2nd March 2016 at 4:16pm
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A lot can happen in thirteen games in any league and in this division in particular nothing is certain!

After winning away at Huddersfield – largely against the run of play, we are grateful for small mercies but if we were to make the play-off’s this time around it would be an even better achievement than last season – which was seen by some as a bit of a fluke.

But they say the league does not lie and remember that Daryl Murphy scored a staggering 27 goals in this place last term, which he will never surpass and certainly not this term that’s for sure!

And injuries to key players have also conspired against us this time around and to lose Ryan Fraser again was a massive blow to our promotion aspirations and coincided with our fall from grace.

The fact that quality players such Teddy Bishop and David McGoldrick have not even started this campaign has just added to our frustrations and the loss of under-rated Cole Skuse at a crucial time in the season, has not helped either of course.

Mick McCarthy has not had an easy ride of it – even though we started the season in refreshingly fine form but as the season progressed, the standard of football seemed to discernibly decline and we reverted more and more to a direct style of play that is loathed by dedicated followers of Ipswich Town, who have been largely spoilt over the years with an exciting brand of free- flowing passing football.

Now playing boring football and winning is always forgivable to an extent but playing boring football and losing is certainly not and prior to Huddersfield, we had lost to Hull City, Bristol City and Queens Park Rangers; albeit it narrowly on every occasion.

Suddenly however we are back in with a shout of the play-off’s again, as other teams around us continue to drop points.

We have a game in hand on Sheffield Wednesday in sixth and if we win that, we would only be one point adrift of them but with their superior goals + column this effectively means two I guess but this is certainly not insurmountable given the unpredictable nature of the Sky Bet Championship.

The other difficulty we face is pulling clear of the other pretenders to the play-off throne and Birmingham have a game in hand as well and they too they have a better goal difference.

The other realistic threat is Cardiff City who are one point ahead of us having played one game more but we play both Sheffield Wednesday and Cardiff away within the next month and what we do in these games may well define our season?

Until fairly recently we had a far better away record than at home so perhaps after that win away at The Terriers we can get back on track on our travels? Let us hope so.

Next up though is Nottingham Forest at home this Saturday and this surely is a another must win encounter!

We have struggled at Portman Road so far this season so here is our chance to take the bull by the horns and bolster once more our play-off chances against a team that are too far from both the play-off places and relegation to be seriously feared.

Frank weston – editor of Vital Football


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