Date: 8th April 2016 at 4:20pm
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You can back Town at odds of around 14/1 at most bookies and they are good odds if you still believe that the blues can make the play-off’s, which of course most of us don’t.

However, being the manager of a club in free-fall means that he has to stay positive in spite of everything and this is perfectly understandable I guess.

If he threw in the towel now – even before we are mathematically sure of not making it, then that would send out all the wrong signals to both supporters and the board.

Mick has said that although his aim of reaching the play-off’s is becoming increasingly unlikely, he must still stay focused because we cannot think about what other clubs are doing until we start doing the right things and that means picking up three points!

And after 273 minutes without one, the first priority must be to get a goal! This is the worst barren goal-scoring spell all season and it has come at perhaps the worst possible time. we have to go back to 2007 to witness a four game goal-less run.

When we take on The Bees tomorrow we must try to make up for the one that got away. Our first game of the season was at Brentford if you recall and we appeared to be coasting to a 0-2 victory until we were told that we had to play six minutes of extra time!

Then the floodgates opened and we conceded two goals in those extra minutes and had to be content in the end with a point.

Mick McCarthy remembers it only too well. ‘It was one of our best performances and one of our biggest disappointments because we should never have lost two points. That was one of the best performances and one of the biggest regrets – biggest disappointments because we should have had three points from it.”

In fact, from a game that normally we would have been happy to get a point from, we all came away very frustrated but it was also a warning sign that we were incapable of holding onto leads and we witnessed much the same again against Nottingham Forest, Bolton and Rotherham United too as the season progressed.

It is thought that Bees manager Dean Smith could stick with the side that beat Bolton last week and he may have little choice as he has a long injury list at this time but six points from two games, means that the visitors will be up for this one!

The good news is that Ipswich Town have never lost at home to Brentford in all competitions in their history, winning three and drawing two but stats of course are there to be broken!

If the blues make any changes at all it will probably be in midfield, where McCarthy might be tempted to bring in Kevin Bru and perhaps too Luke Hyam but he does not make a habit of leaving out both Skuse and Douglas so one is still likely to be involved.

The Football League have now announced the Match Day officials that will take charge of the game against Brentford this weekend.

Referee: Philip Gibbs
Linesmen: Mark Pottage and Ryan T. Atkin
Fourth Official: Trevor Kettle

Match Day referee Gibbs is yet to officiate an Ipswich game this season but he has refereed Town games before.

He has however only already taken in nineteen other matches so far in 2015-16 and in those games, across all competitions and football divisions, he has handed out a total of 56 yellow cards and two red cards which I guess is about par for the course.

He was most card-happy in the match between Shrewsbury and Barnsley on January 16 with six yellows shown, and he also showed six in February between Barnet and Portsmouth.

In the matches between Yeovil and Stevenage on November 14, and Wimbledon and Wycombe on November 21 he waved four yellows a piece but we could do with a ref tomorrow who is a little kind to us.

Frank Weston – editor of Vital Ipswich


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