Date: 18th January 2017 at 5:50pm
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The BBC sensed it. The Town fans sensed it. It fact, probably everyone sensed it, except perhaps Mick McCarthy and former Blues captain Mick Mills, who audaciously suggested that Ipswich would win this 3rd round FA Cup replay relatively comfortably.

I was stupid enough to believe him when he spoke with Graeme Mac on Radio Suffolk’s Final Whistle on Saturday night and said, ‘No I don’t make Lincoln favourites at all… and really, if we want to be in the fourth round we can go there and get in the fourth round.’ My head said defeat but my heart is where my bet went.

I can only assume then from that statement that we did not WANT to be in the fourth round at all and certainly, some of the team selections made by manager McCarthy, seemed to suggest as much.

He made five changes and brought back Dean Gerken in goal. He may wear the number one jersey but that is where the connection sadly ends. When we compare him to Bartosz Bialkowski his is definitely regarded these days as second choice.

Then our manager decided to shore up the midfield again and put defensive minded duo, Cole Skuse and Jonathan Douglas, together again. On every occasion he has tried this before it has failed miserably and last night it stifled any hope we had of creativity in the centre of the park.

Almost five million viewers turned on the BBC last night to witness this horror show from the Tractor Boys and in fifty years of watching them in action, I can honestly say I cannot recall such a tepid display as this. It was truly woeful from start to finish and we did not deserve to get anything from it.

If you knew no better, you would have thought that it was Ipswich who were playing in the Vanarama League and the Imps in the Championship because for large chunks of the match, the non-league side played above their station.

Terry Butcher was typically frank at the break and suggested that Mick McCarthy would give his players a right kick up the backside at half time but if this did occur, then he has completely lost the dressing room because in the second half Town were even more toothless than in the first when possession was 50/50.

For many neutrals last night the FA Cup rediscovered its magic but for Town supporters all over the world, this was a nightmare waiting to happen.

Losing is one thing but to lose in such a tame manner is surely the recipe for disaster and we played like a team in crisis.

Nathan Arnold scored the stoppage-time winner for the Imps but what was our plan? Was it to to play for penalties?

It surely must have been because we rarely threatened the Lincoln City goal and when McCarthy finally made substitutions, he decided he would not remove his midfield dynamo’s Skuse and Douglas.

Now in a game where the home team dictated proceedings throughout, I consider that decision to be truly bizarre.


Frank Weston – Editor of Vital Ipswich




 

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