Fuller Flavour: Forget promotion – could relegation be a genuine possibility next season?

PUBLISHED: 17:00 24 February 2020 | UPDATED: 17:09 24 February 2020

Josh Earl pictured after the final whistle on Saturday.   Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.com

Josh Earl pictured after the final whistle on Saturday. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Stephen Waller

Depressed is probably too strong a word to describe my feelings as an Ipswich fan right now, writes Karl Fuller. It is, after all, just a game – despite what the lengendary Bill Shankly once said.

But to be totally honest with you, I could not feel any lower than I do right now as far as Ipswich Town is concerned. I could quite happily throw the whole lot into a locked room, throw away the key and get on with other stuff in life. Ok, maybe I am a tad depressed about it all!

It's not just another defeat that has heightened my air of despondency, it's the whole saga of our once proud club sitting in a miserable, lowly position in the football league pyramid.

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I've been down so many avenues in recent times as to what is going wrong and who is to blame that to do so again would just be covering old ground. But where will it all end? That is a question that must be on the minds of so many of us - and what will it take to turn things around? I just don't see any easy answer I'm afraid.

Town manager Paul Lambert and his assistant Stuart Taylor look for options, late in the game.  Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comTown manager Paul Lambert and his assistant Stuart Taylor look for options, late in the game. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

I remember being interviewed by BBC Look East just over a year ago after our dismal FA Cup defeat at Accrington Stanley and reporter Tom Williams asked at the time if I had any hope of us avoiding relegation last season at all.

Not only did I reply with no hope whatsoever, I also expressed my concerns for this year too, citing relegation fears again if things continued as they were. Obviously, we have not and will not plummet to those depths this term, but we are a sinking club and who knows, could that be a possibility next season?

Maybe I'm being a bit dramatic but show me some shoots of recovery to cling on to and I'll happily grasp them.

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As I said a couple of weeks ago, I'm not in the Paul Lambert out camp but only because I haven't got the energy to be bothered. However, Saturday demonstrated once more that I have concerns as to whether he is the man for the job. No plan B again, Teddy Bishop and Alan Judge playing as wingers at one point and the introduction of Freddie Sears was only about twenty minutes too late.

Last week's news that James Norwood needs more surgery, coupled with a suspension for Kayden Jackson has me even more worried now that we have even less choice of strikers to convert the chances that we do create on the odd occasion.

It's not looking very bright for the future is it? The immediate past is pretty dull too - four wins in 22 matches is nothing short of shocking. We might just have five more years of this though folks.

In other news, I was very saddened to hear on Saturday morning of the passing of BBC Radio Suffolk's Simon Warr. There was a time when I was heavily involved in the local non-league scene albeit across the Essex border with FC Clacton.

Kayden Jackson is sent off by referee Scott Oldham.   Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comKayden Jackson is sent off by referee Scott Oldham. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Nevertheless, on many occasions, they would provide the opposition for a whole host of Suffolk clubs and there was a time when The Fuller Flavour column was non-league based in the old Green Un newspaper.

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This led me to taking a very strong interest in so many Suffolk clubs during which time I talked to many great people involved in that level of the game. I always loved listening to Simon's match reports, and his interviews with managers and players from games he covered were always entertaining.

Right up until recently, my drive home from Portman Road would have me listening intently to Simon's reports and he was such an important part of the Final Whistle programme, just as he was on Mark Murphy's Life's a Pitch programme.

He was also great to hear attempting different jobs a few years back on James Hazell's Saturday morning show and is a voice that will be tremendously missed by so many.

My thoughts and condolences go out to all of Simon's family, friends and colleagues.

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