Getting into the winning habit early in the campaign is vital if the Blues are going to stand any chance of going up this season. Saturday was a good start! It was, I believe, Alexandre Dumas who said that “nothing succeeds like success” and the feel-good factor of coming away with a win and not conceding a goal, is just the kind of confidence boost the squad needs right now.
For manager Paul Lambert this was a must-win game. He had openly criticised owner Marcus Evans in his first press conference of the season earlier in the week, and the way his players showed their commitment to his football ideology, vindicated in many ways his unorthodox approach to media scrutiny. With almost a full team out injured and no money to spend on players, it is easy to understand why he aired his frustrations publicly. Lambert will not simply toe the line in the same way that former boss Mick McCarthy did. He wants to see the club rekindle some of its former glory, and he knows that there is little chance of that happening if the owner persists in keeping his hands firmly in his pockets.
On Saturday, there were so many notable performances that it seems almost unfair to single anyone out for special praise. That said, I cannot help but mention our new striker James Norwood, who was superb from the off, and of course Town youngsters Flynn Downes and Luke Woolfenden who were exceptional.
How pleasing to it was to see Emyr Huws back in the mix in the closing stages as well – along with want-away Alan Judge! According to Lambert, Judge has now accepted his fate and we should see the best of him between now and the opening of the next transfer window. When everyone is fit, we already have a formidable squad for this division.
We may need a few fresh faces both in attack and defence but until this materialises, we can at least be grateful for the new kids on the block and the old heads in the squad like Luke Chambers and Cole Skuse who add valuable experience to the team in key positions.
F.W. – editor of Vital Ipswich