It seems a strange thing to say, but with this second strain of Covid running riot, who really knows whether Ipswich Town will ever play this season again? The last time the Blues kicked a ball in earnest was on the 15th December, and if the game at Portman Road on Saturday goes ahead as planned, it will be almost a month since the Suffolk club were last in action.
The second mutation of this horrid disease is more transmissible than the first outbreak. The third strain, which mainly resides in South Africa, presents an even greater threat, as leading epidemiologists are not convinced that new vaccines can counter it.
The South African variant is even more deadly, and at least two people in the UK have already contracted it. We must be on our guard. We are not out of the woods quite yet. At the moment the game against The Robins is still on, and if it takes place, then former Blues striker Brett Pitman will have something to prove!
All of Ipswich Town’s first team staff and the squad have tested negative for Covid-19 after yesterday’s latest round of tests, but there is still concern over the manager Paul Lambert. He may stay away on Saturday, as he is still a bit under the weather, after going down with the illness before Christmas. Whether he attends will be decided probably on the day of the game.
The EFL is continuing to play football, which is even more remarkable, given the national lockdown that has shut down almost everything else. Is it the fear factor that is sustaining this? Are they afraid that by suspending the league programme again it might never restart? Ipswich Town has good reason to be concerned, having fallen just outside those play-off places once more.
Last season was hugely frustrating because we could not complete our fixtures, and we will never know what might have happened if we had? For it to occur again is unthinkable. Sadly, with this pandemic and all its mutations, the unthinkable is thinkable again.