Well, it could be. Our season started so brightly only to fall away so dramatically. This prolonged period of football abstinence might be just what the doctor ordered and give the squad, and the management team, time to regroup.
General Manager of Ipswich Town’s football operations Lee O’Neill says the Town squad will not be returning to training on March 26th as originally planned, with the EFL’s suspension having been extended until the end of April at the very earliest, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
O’Neill is of the view that this is a wise move. “When you look at what’s happening around the country and you hear that London might be going into lockdown, then it’s clear we are a long way from playing football again. We are preparing to get players back and ready to play games for the end of April but it’s an ever-changing situation and of course, the priority is the health and safety of everyone. It’s a sensible position to take.”
From the Blues perspective too, the suspension of football in England might come as a blessing in disguise. One of the reasons that Town has suffered of late, has been to some extent, a succession of injuries to key players. Yes, we have a big squad and arguably one of the best in this division, but some players are less dispensible than others and this particularly applies to Kane Vincent-Young, Jack Lankester and James Norwood.
It remains to be seen whether any of these players will be fit enough to enter the fray when the season finally kicks off again, (if it ever does?) but if we got them back for the run-in, then who knows where it might take us? I am still of the opinion that Ipswich could sneak into the play-off’s, thanks to the opposition we will face and the number of home games we still have to play at Portman Road. And of course, momentum in football is key!
Our home ground may be made available for free to the NHS in the light of the Coronavirus outbreak, but if we get the crowds back then this could be the catalyst for a rapid upturn in our fortunes – especially if some of our star players are fit enough to perform.
F.W. – editor of Vital Ipswich