Ipswich Town’s promotion hopes are hanging by a thread. Anything less than a win tomorrow night at Portman Road will surely end our Championship aspirations, and condemn the Blues to another season in League One.
Manager Paul Lambert today admitted as much when he said sternly in his pre-match press conference that this was a “must-win” game. When quizzed about the teams more recent performances he was adamant that nothing less than a win would do. ” They’ve done well, but we’re at home and we have to win. The focus is we have to win the game. We can’t afford to draw. We have to win.”
In this respect at least, he has the full backing of the Ipswich faithful because even without our main strikers, we simply have to find a way to score goals and win matches and Tuesday night games can be atmospheric if the team creates enough chances. We have to find a way of replicating what we did against Burton Albion last month, and this without twin strikers James Norwood and Kayden Jackson. Also missing for the next couple of games is influential midfielder Flynn Downes, so we have our backs to the wall – even before a ball has been kicked!
Will Keane will partner Freddie Sears upfront I would suspect. Lambert has few options in this regard and he will be hoping the words Keane uttered about how the players have let the manager down will echo in their ears. The forward was frank about the sides shortcoming. “At the end of the day, there’s nothing he could have done about the goals we conceded on Saturday. He made it plainly obvious what he wanted us to do – not to take risks in dangerous areas, and it’s all about decision-making. There’s not much more he and the staff can do in terms of setting us up and giving us a gameplan.”
So then tomorrow night is make or break. Town cannot afford any more fatal flaws. Lady luck is rarely on our side these days but we need her badly now.
F.W. – editor of Vital Ipswich