Stuart Watson’s Sunday Verdict: Not good enough, out of their depth and destined for the drop – prove us all wrong Hurst and players

PUBLISHED: 13:29 21 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:24 21 October 2018

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst walks towards the tunnel following Saturday's 2-0 home defeat to QPR. Photo: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst walks towards the tunnel following Saturday's 2-0 home defeat to QPR. Photo: Steve Waller

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Town returned to the bottom of the Championship table with a 2-0 home defeat to QPR yesterday. Blues reporter STUART WATSON gives his considered verdict.

Toto Nsiala looks resigned as he appeals to the referee after catching Eberechi Eze (not pictured) in the penalty area. Photo: Steve WallerToto Nsiala looks resigned as he appeals to the referee after catching Eberechi Eze (not pictured) in the penalty area. Photo: Steve Waller

Not good enough. A manager and players out of their depth. A team destined for the drop.

There, I’ve said it. Because, let’s be honest, that’s what everyone is now thinking.

Please, Paul Hurst and co, take these words as intended. They are written not with any sense of glee but, quite frankly, out of desperation.

MORE: Northstander: I really can see us being relegated. So does Evans stick or twist?

Paul, you stuck pre-season predictions of relegation up on the wall when in charge of Shrewsbury and scrawled ‘we are rubbish’ on them as a motivational tool. Do so again if you must.

Cole Skuse and Luke Chambers contemplate defeat to QPR. Photo: Steve WallerCole Skuse and Luke Chambers contemplate defeat to QPR. Photo: Steve Waller

Saturday certainly was rubbish.

The prior entertaining 3-2 win at Swansea was meant to relieve the growing mental pressure and provide a springboard. But after a long run up over an international break, Town produced a painful belly flop to agonising looks.

MORE: ‘I’ll take my responsibility but the players have to take theirs as well’ – Hurst after QPR loss

A soft, insipid and uninspiring 2-0 home defeat to QPR had me, for the first time, beginning to seriously question a previously deep-rooted belief that things would eventually come good.

I had scoffed when others jumped, in my mind, rather prematurely to the conclusion that this project was doomed to failure.

Matthew Pennington pictured at full-time.  Photo: Steve WallerMatthew Pennington pictured at full-time. Photo: Steve Waller

Change happened for a reason. And there was a hell of a lot of change. There was always going to be a few early bumps in the road.

MORE: Stu says – Five observations following Ipswich Town’s 2-0 home defeat to QPR

Stepping back from results there were always positives, no matter how small, to take from the early games. But those positives have gradually dried up. It’s sadly been a tale of regression rather than progression.

There has been no sense of a new-look team gelling. And there has been little evidence of the promised high-press, of wingers drifting inside, midfielders joining the attack and full-backs bombing on.

So much has changed and yet, in many ways, nothing has changed at all.

QPR celebrate after their early goal, with Town defender Janoi Donacien in the foreground. Photo: Steve WallerQPR celebrate after their early goal, with Town defender Janoi Donacien in the foreground. Photo: Steve Waller

Too many square pegs in round holes – most notably a centre-back at right-back. We’ve been here before.

MORE: Andy Warren’s player grades after Town’s 2-0 home loss to Queens Park Rangers

Finding new and inventive ways to gift the opposition goals. That continues a theme of last season too.

Sarcastic cheers greeting rare attempts on goal. Jeers greeting substitutions. Boos greeting the full-time whistle. Yes, Groundhog Day is back at Ipswich Town.

Goodwill and fresh hope was only going to last so long among a fanbase who have now seen just two wins in 20 games at Portman Road and become increasingly disillusioned during a largely uneventful 17-year stint in the Championship .

If I thought this calculated managerial gamble quite clearly was an unmitigated disaster then I’d be honest enough to be calling upon owner Marcus Evans to take his medicine and act before too much damage is done.

MORE: Ipswich Town 0 QPR 2 – match report

Yet I’m still clinging to the fact that Ipswich aren’t getting played off the park. Had a few fine margin matches swung the other way, the picture could be a lot different. I guess all relegated teams end up looking back on such ifs, buts and maybes though.

The bottom line is, Town are bottom and continually coming up short. And we’re nearly a third of the way into the season now.

In my opinion, you can forget talk of relegation being a potentially good thing too. I don’t like the look of those odds.

So I repeat to Paul Hurst and the players – you are rubbish. Now please, go and prove us all wrong.

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