We are all getting very excited about the new football season, and for good reason. We have sold more than 16,000 season tickets for the first time in more than a decade. We have a manager who we all believe in and a group of players that are arguably the strongest in this division. Our new owner Gamechanger 20 limited is focused on success, and we start the new campaign as joint-favourites to lift the League One title. What is there not to like about the new Ipswich Town? Time perhaps for a reality check.
Sheffield Wednesday, Derby County, Portsmouth, Charlton Athletic, and Bolton Wanderers are all big clubs entitled to believe that they deserve better than this. They, too, have great expectations and yet, not all of us can be successful. Then we have the also-rans Wycombe Wanderers and MK Dons, who made the playoffs last time around and will be intent on doing better next time.
Take all those teams out of the equation, and we still have to come face to face with newsboys Forest Green Rovers and Peterborough United. Oxford United, Accrington Stanley, Fleetwood Town and Plymouth are no pushovers either, so it will be another very difficult campaign – regardless of the players we recruit before the new season begins. We have no automatic right to assume that promotion is a formality, and I am pretty sure that manager Keiran McKenna has told his squad the same.
I am looking forward to the season, but with some trepidation. I know how difficult it is to get out of this league, and how we will need a large dose of ‘lady luck’ along the way. Having big crowds at Portman Road is a big help, but we will need more than that to progress to the Championship. Pretty possession football is one thing and grinding out results is another, and we will have a real battle on our hands at Barnsley and Lincoln City, so we have to hit the ground running this time if we are to get ahead.