Former Town captain Mick Mills now believes it is time fans concentrated their minds on the team, and not the squad, but I beg to differ because injuries and suspensions mean it is our strength in depth that will see us past the winning post.
Gwion Edwards is a good point in question. He has the worst disciplinary record in League One, with a staggering 9 yellow cards in only 19 appearances, which effectively means that if he sees yellow or worse at Portman Road on Saturday against Lincoln City, he will face a two-game ban! Now you could argue that he is the exception to the rule but James Norwood is another one – yet he gets his name in the book often because his mouth is sometimes sharper than his feet and he is rarely in trouble with referees for cynical fouls.
So then ill-discipline could still cost us dear in the run-in, and it is perhaps reassuring to see that Flynn Downes has put a lid on some of his more extreme behaviour of late, and has seemingly transformed into the model professional! Let us hope this continues because apart from suspensions, we have already discovered under Lambert and Mick McCarthy before him, injuries too, have had an adverse effect on our form. Before Kane Vincent-Young fell victim to long-term injury, our wing-back play was a breath of fresh air and we were picking up points wherever we played.
We have had to adapt to life without him and have only recently rather belatedly succeeded because we have a relatively versatile squad. Myles Kenlock cannot get his place back in the team because of Gwion Edwards; who has abandoned playing as a winger for a role as an attacking wing-back. This might also explain why Edwards has picked up so many yellow cards!
When you look at our squad as a whole I think it is the strongest in this division. Yes, it could be considered to be too big, but injuries are commonplace in League One and throughout the course of the remainder of the season, most of the squad will be utilized once again.
Emyr Huws, Teddy Bishop and Freddie Sears are all returning from long term injuries and we must not forget about Jon Nolan and Andre Dozzell, because in time, I feel sure they will once again find a place in the Town midfield.
So Mick Mills is right to suggest that manager Paul Lambert should now focus on the TEAM but the team is only as good as the components in it, and if there is a loss of form or the some of the above unsavoury scenarios come into play, then we have the players in reserve to do the business. Tomas Holy included!
F.W. – editor of Vital Ipswich