Date: 15th January 2015 at 4:35pm
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Almost 28,000 packed into Portman Road last night and with the game televised live on the BBC here was another chance for the blues to impress the nation.

In the end it turned into a huge anti-climax and the massive gulf between Southampton of the Premiership and Ipswich of the Championship was apparent for all to see.

Even the most partisan of supporters could not help but notice just how poor we were. We seemed to be suffering from a collective inferiority complex and any urgency we showed before the goal quickly died after it.

The truth hurts but this was the worst performance I have seen from the blues since Mick McCarthy took over and within the space of just five days, we have convinced the viewing public to stay away from the television when Town are on!

It is hard to put your finger on why Ipswich were so bad? We know that there were some enforced changes but watching them last night made me think that if The Saints had been playing a League Two team there would have been greater signs of genuine application from the opposition.

I found it a very depressing viewing. We lacked any inspiration and were toothless going forward. In fact going forward was part of the problem because we seemed more content to go backwards for the most part and this compounded our problems.

What if I hear you ask. What if that Stephen Hunt goal had have stood or what if the ref had pointed to the spot and awarded us a penalty when the ball struck a Saints hand?

Well the truth is we will never know but what I can say with absolute certainty is that if we do get promoted our manager will have a mountain to climb and at the moment he does not seem to have any decent climbing equipment.

Some might argue that it was just a bad day at the office. Yet that is twice in less than a week that we have let the paying public down with lifeless displays that lacked any quality.

We seem to be camera shy at Portman Road these days and as soon as we get some national publicity we seem hell bent on losing it!

It is hard to find any stand-out performances from last night’s damp squib of a display but when Tyrone Mings came on we were all the better for it. Kevin Bru did little wrong and nor did our defence but our attack was toothless and the midfield struggled to create anything of any real note.

Stephen Hunt deserves a mention for his endeavor and Darren Ambrose showed touches of his former self, given the fact that he has played so rarely.

So then, it is back to the bread and butter of the Championship on Saturday when we face a Millwall side who were walloped 4-0 by lower league opposition in the cup last night.

The news that Conor Sammon has gone to Rotherham means that the gaffer might look to strengthen again in that department and more cover behind the sticks is something he is working on.

The one consolation is that we can now focus fully on promotion.

But last night’s poor showing has clearly illustrated to me the gulf between where we are and where we want to be.

Frank Weston – Editor Vital Ipswich


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