Fuller Flavour: Falling attendances at Portman Road should be a major concern
© Copyright Stephen Waller
That was awful on Saturday and that’s being kind! I did not expect us to have it easy simply because we were playing against the bottom side, writes Karl Fuller.
We know Burton are fighting for their lives to stay in the division and we know how the game works – you have to earn the right to score goals and win games.
What I did not expect was to have to wait until the 80th minute for a meaningful shot on goal and what I did expect was to see us on the front foot for much of the game and not for us to look like the side rooted to the bottom of the league, if you did not know differently.
We certainly did not earn any rights for anything out of that game other than that stupendous save by Bart in the closing stage which alone, deserved the point that we ultimately got.
I joked before the game that I was wearing my new contact lenses and for much of the past couple of years, I had been wearing some very old ones which in truth, from my North Stand position, I could not see much of what was happening beyond the halfway line.
I had hoped that what I thought I had seen was purely as a result of poor vision. But nope, even with crystal clear sight, it still looked just as bad.
I also joked recently that our poor home run of just one win in six games since Christmas was down to me. The one game that I missed, at home to Leeds, we both scored in and won.
I’ve not seen us win now since beating Reading on December 16, and the only goal I’ve seen us score in this run was a Joe Garner consolation against Derby County.
But alas, my jokes are not funny, they’re serious and equally, the whole thing is a joke now and the current plight of our club is serious too.
If there is just one concern that should raise eyebrows at the top end of the club, it’s the attendance levels that continue to fall.
Just below 14,000 is again being kind to the situation. There was probably not much more than 12,500 present on Saturday and this must be of grave concern.
Last week, there was speculation linking Mick McCarthy to the vacant managerial position at Barnsley. I wondered for a moment if he would really go.
But I honestly expect him to be here next season. I don’t expect the club to announce anything anytime soon but by the time season ticket renewal forms hit our doormats, the very least we deserve to know is what to expect from next season onwards.
But this is Ipswich Town we’re talking about. Looking into my crystal ball, I see Mick still here and crowds plummeting to 12,000.
Back to Saturday’s performance, there was nice little cameo from Mustapha Carayol to be content enough with but nothing else I’m afraid.
I still think the whole dynamic of our side is wrong. We’re shoe-horning in too many strikers and not considering the creative side of our play enough.
At home, we look like we’re playing with a man less which is one thing when we’re playing say top-of-the table Wolves but it is wrong when it happens against the side at the bottom. Burton often looked like they had more men on the pitch than us.
And so we move on to Sunday’s game at Norwich – the last chance of something to shout about this season. As always, these days, I have zero confidence of us getting anything out of this game and am already dreading another defeat to that lot.
Their results have typically picked up lately and it’s a minor miracle that we sit on level points at present.
Please prove me wrong Town!