Date: 4th March 2015 at 4:01pm
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Mick McCarthy has joked many times about our underdog status and I guess it is partly to take the pressure off his players.

Norwich newcomer Alex Neil did not even mention us in his top team championship synopsis prior to the derby game and let’s face it, over the years we have always tended to be an also ran rather than anything else, when it comes to the big fish in the football sea.

One thing we do have in our armoury however is our tendency to surprise. Over the forty five years of supporting Ipswich Town, I have born witness to it on so many occasions that the term ‘underdog’ is very fitting within the context of this particular club and the element of surprise is quite a regular occurrence!

Actually one of the reasons I started supporting the blues when I was knee high to a grasshopper was because we were seen as the underdog. I have always had a soft spot for the underdog.

Coming as I do from Merseyside it would have been easy to have supported one of the big two and I did briefly support Everton until Town’s underdog status reared its head for the very first time oh so many years ago.

My big cousin, who was three years older than me, looked at the 1st division table in 1969 and said firmly, ‘ Ipswich will go down.’ He was always right but on this occasion I begged to differ and I struck a bet with him. The rest as they say is history.

Blue Suffolk blood ran through my veins for the very first time and my love affair with the blues began!

So supporting the underdog is something I am very used to. In fact I have never really known it any other way.

This season supporters expectations were low – especially after we lost the first time around to Norwich in August. But this ended up being the catalyst for a sea change of form, which resulted in us losing just one game in twenty and a top six position!

We can only hope that another defeat to our fiercest rivals will have the same effect because if it does, then even those two automatic promotion places are still within reach!

I may find myself being overly critical of the gaffer at times but we must not forget what he has achieved over the last two seasons at the helm. He has transformed us from being almost relegation certainties to automatic promotion hopefuls and without hardly spending a dime in the process.

His honesty is a breath of fresh air and even if we might not like some of his favourite players that much, the facts speak for themselves and the league table does not lie. In other words, he must be doing something right and of course he is!

Tonight at Elland Road I just hope that we can get something from the game. So far this season we have not lost two on the bounce and to use a McCarthy phrase, ‘a point away is always a point in the bag – just make sure we don’t lose!’

I could not agree more.

Frank Weston – Vital Ipswich


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