Date: 11th August 2016 at 8:11am
Written by:

Well we all knew that Saturday afternoon at Portman Road was a bit of a false dawn. We were outplayed by newly promoted Barnsley and yet stole all three points thanks to an unlikely hat-trick from debutant Grant Ward.

On Tuesday night when we were at home once again, reality came home to haunt us. Stevenage arrived with a game plan and we didn’t and naming our team once more 24 hours before kick-off suggests that manager Mick McCarthy is lying through his back teeth when he suggested earlier that he wanted to win this one.

I like to think that generally speaking our manager is an honest man – if somewhat delusional but he must have known that naming his side 24 hours before a ball has been kicked gives the opposition a huge advantage and on that premise I can only assume that this was gamesmanship. Every time he has done this before we have lost. Coincidence? Not in a million light years.

He also claimed that he picked a strong team but this is only partly true because the defence had been weakened with the inclusion of keeper Gerken and Digby at centre back and of course Tommy Smith returned to the fold.

Up front there was no Daryl Murphy and no Brett Pitman so there is little doubt with seven changes to the side that defeated Barnsley that this was a weakened team.

It took Town until the 53 minute to have a serious shot on goal and whatever that half time team talk did it did nothing to advance our fortunes.

On the contrary McCarthy said afterwards that we were even worse after the break so where had that winning mentality gone? In truth in this game it was never there in the first place.

So then, we are out of the League Cup at the first hurdle once again and again to lower opposition, who simply wanted it so much more.

Now we must re-group for a tough test away to Brentford on Saturday and I can guarantee you one thing. Manager Mick McCarthy won’t be naming his team 24 hours in advance this time and we all know why!

Frank Weston – Editor of Vital Ipswich


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