Another defeat and this time to our arch-rivals could be the final nail in Town’s coffin. As I exclusively revealed yesterday, there was no place in the Town side for James Collins in central defence after he failed a fitness test yesterday morning on his hamstring. He was sadly missed.
I also suggested that there might be a place for want-away Jonas Knudsen and it was to prove, but not as a centre back where I think he excels, but as a left wing-back. James Bree was the right wing back and there was no place in the side – or indeed on the bench for Myles Kenlock or Josh Emmanuel, as I had earlier indicated.
Jon Nolan was preferred to Flynne Downes in midfield (although he was on the bench) and he was accompanied by Cole Skuse and Trevoh Chalobah. In attack, Will Keane was the lone striker but had Freddie Sears and Alan Judge to assist him from the flanks.
Manager Paul Lambert went into this match is a very positive frame of mind but must have been horrified when the Blues conceded after just 82 seconds, as Onel Hernandez pounced from close range to score Norwich’s fastest league goal since way back in 2011! This was the worst possible start for the visitors and the travelling Blue Army must have been contemplating a cricket score, after trailing so early.
In the end, to their credit, Ipswich Town had impressive match stats with more possession and more shots than their hosts but it was at the business end of proceedings that the Tractor Boys failed to impress. Two goals from Finish striker Teemu Pukki wrapped up the points for the Canaries yet on the balance of play, this scoreline was rather misleading.
The big bust-up just before half time that sent manager Paul Lambert to the stands, after he received his marching orders from referee Peter Banks, summed up the Blues pent-up frustrations and in the end, Norwich went back to the top of the Championship table, having only had their feathers briefly ruffled.
It was good to see Teddy Bishop and Ellis Harison come on and impress and certainly in terms of endeavour this was a creditable away performance. The sad reality of the situation is that although we can play pretty football at times, we have no cutting edge, which is why we are, where we are, at the moment.
It is not for the want of trying that Ipswich Town lost this game today. It is simply a case of lack of firepower up front and some poor decision making. This, more than anything else, will see us plying our trade in Division One next season.