Date: 20th January 2016 at 4:41pm
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Not one player that started against Preston North End at Portman Road last Saturday played in this one so any serious hopes of progressing further in this competition were dashed even before a ball was kicked.

As expected, the defence consisted of novices apart from Bartosz Bialkowski who had to play heroics just to keep Town in the game.

There was only going to be one winner and this was long before Piotr Malarczyk got red-carded and the only real surprise was that the defeat was not quite as big as some of us had anticipated!

The emphasis was on youth and inexperience – although Luke Hyam, Brett Pitman and Ainsley Maitland-Niles started from the off along with Australian Tommy Oar but it was essentially a young team.

The first half was one way traffic as the home side threw everything at a lackluster blues outfit and it would be only a matter of time before they broke the deadlock.

Portsmouth took the lead ironically through a penalty from former blue Gary Roberts after 32 minutes and went further ahead before the break, when Marc McNulty fired home at the second attempt after keeper Bialkowski had blocked the first effort.

Town played a little better after the break and on 60 minutes pulled a goal back through Ainsley Maitland-Niles but the blues finished the game with 10 men after Piotr Malarczyk was sent-off for two bookable offences but it mattered not.

I feel most sorry for the travelling away fans who had to suffer another inept performance from our so called squad players.

They are clearly not up to the task of filling the boots of the first team and let us hope that we don’t incur too many injuries or suspensions between now and May – otherwise we can wave our play-off hopes away.

As I said yesterday, I do understand the predicament that our manager was in. If he was to play his best side and some of them pulled muscles and were out of action for a while then we would seriously struggle in the championship as last night proved.

That said, he argues that he does not need to recruit in the transfer window because he has a strong squad but after last night surely he knows that this argument makes little sense.

When I hear Mick McCarthy I hear too many contradictions. After the match he said, “It`s confirmed to me what I probably already know, that the best side is the one that`s been playing.’

And what of the rest? Are they really good enough to get into the first team and stay there? It would appear not so then why try to perpetually tell us that he is satisfied with the depth of his squad? The sad fact appears to be that there is no depth!

We all know that if Teddy Bishop and David McGoldrick were fighting fit they would add something but who else I wonder?

Tommy Oar is probably good enough and we all know about Bartosz Bialkowski but that appears to be about it I’m afraid.

You would have thought the new kids on the block would have had something to prove last night and that is to fight for a place in the first team but once again they were found to be wanting.

Premier clubs have the strength in depth to change their whole team and get away with it but seriously folks, did Mick McCarthy genuinely believe that Ipswich Town could do it too?

I doubt it but the experiment was perhaps not entirely in vain because fridge players have all had some valuable game time again.

Whether they will ever get some more is anyone’s guess?

Frank Weston – Vital Ipswich


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