That defeat to Accrington Stanley was the final nail in the Town coffin. This ignominious display confirmed our worst fears. Town are going down. End of story. The fat lady is singing now and the crowd is heading for the exit door.
I have never felt so low as this and in 1957, the last time the Blues ended up in the league we are soon to fall into, I was just two years of age! Well, I really do fear the worst – unless of course owner Marcus Evans sells up to a rich businessman with money to burn, who is tempted to have a fling on a club burdened by debt and going backwards.
I feel especially sorry for manager Paul Lambert. He often remarks that when players make mistakes it is his fault and certainly playing with one player up front for so long as we chased the game, was an inexcusable error of judgement. Yet he cannot be blamed for the ineptness of the squad as a whole, and the lack of fight that was clearly in evidence on Saturday afternoon, as we succumbed to yet another 3rd Round F.A. Cup defeat.
An incredible 1,224 Town supporters travelled the long journey to watch the Tractor Boys dish up this drivel, and it now seems that the niceties that were bestowed upon his players by Lambert since he arrived on the scene are ebbing away with increasing rapidity. “The club is in a bad patch, it is not a bed of roses, and I won’t put up with it and will make changes in the transfer window,” Lambert said in a conversation with the BBC.
He suggested too that some players were not pulling their weight – although the weight on Freddie Sears shoulders when he was made captain for the day may have been responsible for some woeful finishing on his part. He has nice skills and is quick when the ball is on the floor but his sharpness in front of goal certainly leaves a lot to be desired most weeks, it has to be said.
So then folks, where do we go from here? Well, Town’s under 23 side won again this afternoon at Playford Road, beating Bristol City 4-2 and staying top of the Professional Development Two South table. Ben Morris is back and made an immediate impression with two good goals and shared the spoils with Ben Folami who also netted twice.
Simon Dawkins played the full 90 minutes but looked a bit ring-rusty. The game was watched by Luke Chambers and George Burley, who sadly did not even get to the interview stage when Marcus Evans opened the vacant Town post at the start of the season.
The only other bright spot to report today is that Jack Lankester has signed a new contract which runs until the summer of 2022. He is a local lad but once the Premier big boys come sniffing around, Evans will happily encourage him to move to pastures new.
Rotherham United got stuffed by Manchester City 7-0 but they will be full of confidence when they visit Portman Road on Saturday. After playing the Premier champions, a game against the lacklustre and talentless Blues would fill any side with a sense of self-worth given our current predicament.
F.W. – editor of Vital Ipswich