It is tough going at the moment and with no wins in eleven Championship games, some people are beginning to press the panic button, but thankfully not all of us!
I have heard from a reliable source who is close to the club that the owner and his club directors are not getting itchy feet. On the contrary, they expected a tough ride to begin with and although we know that nothing is certain in football, the mood upstairs is to still relatively positive, due to the fact that in a period of great upheaval at Portman Road, little was going to be accomplished overnight. There is a feeling that to bed-in all these new players will take time, and the season is still far too young to start panicking.
As I alluded to in an earlier article, if Town are still floundering at Christmas and that gap between themselves and other relegation candidates is widening discernibly, the situation will be under urgent review. In other words, manager Paul Hurst has another twelve league games to sort things out and start picking up points and victories, before he really starts to feel the heat. You could say he is at a halfway house but he has already learned a lot about his squad and what they are capable of and I expect them to turn the corner sooner rather than later.
The defence is still an issue and so is our lack of firepower up front but if we took those two Middlesborough goals out of the equation, Town did not play at all badly and had the bulk of the possession. In fact, in the second half and up until the final moments, the Blues were still pressing and passing with verve. It is easy to read the very worst into these matches but we were up against arguably the best team in the Championship and at 0-2 down after just 16 minutes, could easily have caved in. This did not occur, and I was particularly impressed with Freddie Sears and Andre Dozzell when they joined the fray.
I still maintain that Paul Hurst has my full support and even though one bookmaker today placed the Tractor Boys as favourites for relegation, I am still of the view that Ipswich Town football club are playing far better football than last season – even if the results suggest otherwise.
The nature of football transcends logic a lot of the time, and one win can seriously change our season. Town have not lost their collective sense of belief and until the heads begin to drop and we are beginning to get beaten by more than a couple of goals, I remain confident we can turn this all around.
And remember, Paul Hurst was the personal choice of owner Marcus Evans, and he would be loath to admit to making a catastrophic mistake!
F.W. – editor of Vital Ipswich