We cannot buy a win at the moment and with our youth teams and under 23 teams doing so well, is Town manager Paul Hurst about to reshuffle the pack again?
On Monday night Ipswich Town’s under 23 side defeated Coventry City 4-1 at Portman Road to retain their top spot in the Professional Development League Two South table. Looking on were manager Paul Hurst and Chris Doig and the rest of his management team. They must have been impressed with Australian Ben Folami who scored twice, and Jordan Roberts who opened the scoring after 12 minutes.
Another player to have perhaps caught the eye is forward Jack Lankester who is playing with a lot of confidence and who was responsible for the other Town goal when he struck with power and precision, leaving the Sky Blues keeper helpless as the ball nestled into the corner of the net. He is still only eighteen but shows lots of promise.
In midfield, Andre Dozzell was once again pulling the strings and he must be very frustrated to be out of the first team picture when he clearly has the vision our first team regulars seem to lack. The medical staff at Town have suggested that sports science plays an intrinsic part of squad assessment these days and his physical deficiencies (after his long lay off due to that knee ligament injury at the start of last season,) means he will still have to bide his time.
But it is not just the under 23 team that is excelling just now because it is a similar story with the Blues under 18 side too! They are also top of the Professional Development League Two South table and in their last match thrashed Bristol City 5-0 at Playford Road.
Zak Brown is their star striker and he bagged a hat-trick the other week at Charlton in a 3-6 victory and also waded in with another two against Bristol City! Other youngsters to look out for in future are Bailey Clements and Luca Vega and they both found themselves on the scoresheet as well.
I know that many of you would say that Hurst is changing his team far too much but without a win to show for his first nine Championship matches surely it makes sense to continue the experiment.
Some of these youngsters definitely deserve to be given some credit for their performances this season – especially now that our first team is struggling so much. I would not suggest wholesale changes again but some more fine-tuning, and I certainly think one or two of these bright young things should be given a place on the bench.
FW – editor of Vital Ipswich