After the casualty list that former boss Mick McCarthy had to encounter last season, there seemed little chance that lightning would strike twice but it has!
No sooner had we heard the news that Jonathan Walters would be out for six months with an Achilles tear, we discovered that Ellis Harrison had also fallen foul of a long-term injury. This is particularly galling news for Town manager Paul Hurst because his attacking options have seriously narrowed almost overnight!
With Town struggling to score goals, this is the last thing the club needed, and whatever you think of the new gaffer, you cannot help but feel some sympathy, as the Blues continue to search for their first win and now must face arguably the best side in the Championship tomorrow night at Portman Road, when Middlesborough come to town.
Three red cards in just ten league games is another worrying trend but if we were to analyse more closely why this has occurred, then the finger of blame must surely point to officialdom and some atrocious refereeing. In fairness, the referee on Saturday at Birmingham was right to send Mathew Pennington off because he was already on a yellow when another reckless challenge ended his afternoon. The other two reds, and especially the one involving Nsiala which the club justifiably appealed against, was a complete travesty of justice and how on earth the Football Association upheld this diabolic decision is beyond me.
So P.H. is not having the best of luck with injuries either and of course, he has inherited some of the walking wounded from last season too. Andere Dozzell is getting there slowly but surely, whilst the stop-start career of Emyr Huws continues to baffle us all. Tom Adeyemi seems further away from first-team action than ever and it begs the question, will he ever play football for Town again?
It has been a disappointing start to the new campaign and there is no point in trying to deny it. Ten games and no victories make for miserable reading but there is some light at the end of the player’s tunnel. For a start, we are rising up the table – albeit painfully slowly, and we have not been outclassed by anybody so far – although our lack of firepower up front is certainly not helping our cause.
Few would give us much of a chance tomorrow night but having seen all the games that Ipswich have played this season, I am not as despondent as some of you. I do see progress and we might be only taking baby steps right now but we are heading in the right direction. It will of course take time and I am grateful that owner Marcus Evans is not the trigger-happy kind of bloke that might look to fire in a hurry.
I firmly believe that Paul Hurst will get it right in the end. He remains calm under pressure and understands the nature of the sport he is in. Everyone is impatient for success but we cannot expect miracles overnight. I will only look seriously at the table after Christmas and I feel sure that by then, he will have been presented with a few important victories to keep the fans onside.
FW. – editor of Vital Ipswich