Date: 14th January 2016 at 4:23pm
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One player does not make a team and we all know that much but the absence through injury of Ryan Fraser seemed to coincide with a discernible dip in form. Coincidence? I don’t think so!

Our worse month of the season so far was October when we did not manage a single win and that was the first month that Ryan Fraser missed out through injury and he was certainly missed.

In fact, he scored in his last game for the blues before his enforced absence, in the 2-2 draw at home to Bristol City at the back end of September but that would be the last we would see of him in a Town shirt until after Christmas.

In fairness, Town found a way of winning without him during November but I think his re-introduction has made the world of difference to our promotion hopes.

There is little doubt that since he stepped through the door in the summer; along with our unsung hero Brett Pitman, he has been a revelation and just like Jonathan Williams before him, it is hard to believe he is only here in the short term, such is his commitment to the cause week in and week out.

Our former Town keeper Shane Supple, who packed in football at the youthful age of 22 remarked that one of the main reasons he gave up the game was because at that time, some of the Town players did not seem to care whether we won or lost.

He even suggested that they did not want to get into the play-off’s because it might interfere with their extended holidays – such was the mood under Roy Keane in those days!

Thankfully for all Mick McCarthy’s bullishness he is a likable chap and players respect him in the same way as they did Joe Royle, which is very re-assuring for players and fans alike.

Interestingly, they share another similarity in that they have got the blues to the play-off’s with hardly any dosh to burn and that in itself tells you all you really need to know about their man-management skills.

So Ryan Fraser continues to impress with his speed and his guile and his wonderful crossing ability. He created both goals on Tuesday night for Luke Chambers and Brett Pitman with balls from the edge of the area that had pin-point accuracy attached to them.

I like Bournemouth a lot and do not want to see them come down again but of course if they did and the blues went up, then surely even Ryan would contemplate a more permanent move to the blues?

In the meantime Ryan Fraser has been named in the Sky Bet Football League Team of the Week after his performance on Tuesday night at Portman Road and let’s hope for more of the same on Saturday!

Frank Weston – editor of Vital Ipswich


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