Date: 4th February 2019 at 5:29pm
Written by:

Forget our league positions for a moment and focus instead, on what it would mean to beat our fiercest rivals on Sunday. We must not go down without a fight!

I would suggest that there should be no greater incentive than this to prove that we are not as bad as the table currently suggests.

Yes, it is a case of first against last but this is no ordinary game, and if the Blues want to prove to their supporters that they have not always had the rub of the green then this is the time to do it. I would like to see Ellis Harison installed up front with Collin Quaner as his twin striking partner.

Freddie Sears and Alan Judge could complement the strikers from the wings – although it must be said that I think they are both more suited to playing down the middle. If Town are to stand any chance of getting something from their visit to Norfolk, then they will need strengthening at the back and it is vitally important that veteran defenders Luke Chambers and James Collins are fit enough to return.

In fairness to Mathew Pennington and Aristote Nsiala, they performed well in a makeshift backline against Sheffield Wednesday but in the hostile atmosphere that will undoubtedly be generated at Carrow Road on Sunday, this is not for the faint-hearted and experience is key.

I just hope that on this occasion we get a referee who is not going to be swayed by the sheer volume of the partisan home support and who will have the calmness of mind and the clarity of thought to make fair judgements. This season, in particular, I believe the standard of refereeing in the Championship has been extraordinarily poor. It began for us with the ridiculous sending off of Nsiala away at Wednesday in August and has continued almost unabated ever since.

Now I am not trying to suggest for one moment that our current plight at the bottom of the table is entirely down to dodgy refereeing, but I do believe that a whole series of dubious decisions have cost us both players and points on a regular basis and it is hard to determine exactly why? Is the standard of adjudicating so poor – or have we been hard done by? It is probably a combination of the two but we have been on the wrong end of so many diabolical errors this season, that it really does seem as if the football Gods are against us these days.

Supporting the Blues for more than fifty years means I have taken the rough with the smooth and not every season has been memorable for the right reasons.

That said, there has never been a season quite like this, and if we could sneak a win – or even an honourable draw on Sunday, it would compensate a little for a thoroughly depressing period in Ipswich Town’s long and illustrious history.

F.W.            –               editor of Vital Ipswich