Date: 19th January 2017 at 5:21pm
Written by:

Former Blues captain Mick Mills was probably right when he said on Radio Suffolk that the key to our success in midweek was applying ourselves to the job and our mental toughness.

Sadly neither of these attributes were apparent, as we bowed out of the F.A. Cup with nothing more than the merest whimper.

It must rank as one of the very worst results in living memory and bear in mind that I have been following the Town for half a century and I have not witnessed anything quite like this!

What was even less excusable than the hugely disappointing outcome was the manner of this defeat. It was a truly glueless display and as Terry Butcher said afterwards, it was indeed an utter disgrace.

The one thousand or so Town supporters who made the trip to Lincoln when they could have watched it in the comfort of their own homes, are the ones I feel most sorry for.

The club has said that they will provide free transport for them for the final game of the season at Nottingham Forest on Sunday 7th May but even this is scant reward for what occurred in midweek, which was the ultimate humiliation.

So the next question must be why did it happen the way it did? Has Mick McCarthy lost the dressing room? If not, then why did we get even worse in the second half, when we would have been expected to improve after his half time team talk?

Or was it a case of poor team selections that lead to such a dire showing in front of the live television camera’s? Certainly manager Mick McCarthy had injury concerns but he did not have to shuffle the pack in the way he did and make five changes to the team that defeated Blackburn Rovers last weekend.

For a start, he could have kept arguably our best player all season Bartosz Bialkowski in goal but instead chose once again his understudy Dean Gerken.

Now I am not suggesting that Bart would have done any better with that break away winner but we will never know?

Then he decided to add physicality to the team by playing both Cole Skuse and Jonathan Douglas. It has been the cause of some dross performances before so why did he think anything would be all that different this time around?

Leon Best looked out of his depth up front but he had very little in the form of a supply source. We were desperately short on creativity although Tom Lawrence tried single-handedly to change all that, until a few tough tackles slowed him down.

The truth is that The Imps wanted it more than us as Alex Mathie noted afterwards and our incoherent rather toothless display will sadly live very long in the memory.

On Saturday we face another daunting prospect, as we travel to Yorkshire to face high flying Huddersfield Town.

If we lack the same sort of application that Mick Mills referred to in his post match analysis, then we really are in trouble!

Frank Weston – Editor of Vital Ipswich


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