It may be nothing more than a long painful end but after last night’s excellent display, the start of mission impossible has begun in earnest. Yes, it was only one point but when you are as low as Town, you really need some sort of pick me up and who knows, this might just be it?
Derby County has a strong squad, as their Championship credentials suggest but the Blues matched them last night, and could even have taken all three points if a Jonas Knudsen pile driver near the end of the game, had not been brilliantly headed off the line by Duane Holmes.
This was a spirited performance all round from the home side, and after the mauling they received in Norfolk in their last do or die encounter, it was remarkable to see a young Town team playing such free-flowing football with such confidence. Stand out performers for me where Myles Kenlock, Flynn Downes and Teddy Bishop, who once again looks the real deal after what seems an eternity out of the first-team picture. On last night’s showing, he is certainly keeping his promise of repaying the club for its loyalty!
In truth though, it was not just the young guns who excelled. Collin Quaner and Will Keane led the line well and it was the German who fed substitute Jon Nolan for the Town equaliser with an unselfish pass inside. Alan Judge was very busy in his more favoured central midfield role and a word of mention for much-maligned Jonas Knudsen, who was very solid in central defence, which I still maintain, is where he has played his best football in an Ipswich shirt.
The fat lady may have stopped singing and gone to bed but there is no rest for this energized Ipswich Town squad who have a manager who does believe in miracles – even if he is the only one!
The crowd played their part too at Portman Road last night and many of them will return again on Saturday afternoon, as the Blues face Lambert’s former club Stoke City and their form has dipped discernibly of late.
Ipswich Town: Bialkowski; Bree, Pennington, Knudsen, Kenlock; Chalobah, Downes (Nolan 53), Bishop (Dozzell 67), Judge; Quaner (Harrison 76) and Keane.
Substitutes: Gerken, Nsiala, Edwards and Jackson.
Derby County: Roos; Bogle, Tomori, Keogh, Malone; Johnson, King (Bennett 72), Holmes (Bryson 73), Wilson (Nugent 63), Lawrence and Waghorn.
Substitutes: Ravas, Wisdom, Cole and Huddlestone.
Referee: Andy Madley
There were 926 Derby County supporters in the crowd.
F.W. – Vital Ipswich