'We're probably looking at the play-offs' - Sears admits automatic promotion may be out of reach for Town

PUBLISHED: 17:10 13 February 2020 | UPDATED: 17:10 13 February 2020

Freddie Sears warming up during Town's 1-0 defeat Sunderland Photo: ROSS HALLS

Freddie Sears warming up during Town's 1-0 defeat Sunderland Photo: ROSS HALLS

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Freddie Sears has conceded automatic promotion may be beyond Ipswich Town this season.

Freddie Sears pictured during Town's 4-1 defeat against Peterborough United at Portman Road Photo: ROSS HALLSFreddie Sears pictured during Town's 4-1 defeat against Peterborough United at Portman Road Photo: ROSS HALLS

The Blues, who topped the table for more than two months at the start of the season before a brief return in January, are now outside the top six and trail Peterborough in second by six points with 13 games remaining.

Four of the top six and the six sides directly below Ipswich have at least one game in hand on the Blues, who take on Burton this weekend, with Sears admitting they may now be aiming for a play-off place despite starting the season with real title ambitions.

"It's mad how things can change in a week," he said.

"Three or four games ago we were top of the league and, if we'd beaten Rotherham, you probably would have said we were going to win the league hands down.

Freddie Sears and Shane McLoughlin pictured during Town's 0-0 draw at AFC Wimbledon Photo: ROSS HALLSFreddie Sears and Shane McLoughlin pictured during Town's 0-0 draw at AFC Wimbledon Photo: ROSS HALLS

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"Now we're probably looking at the play-offs.

"We would love to be in the automatic promotion mix but we have to start winning games. It's no good talking about what we want to do because if you don't win games then you don't deserve to be there.

"I think play-offs is the aim and we will go from there."

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The Blues head into Saturday's clash with Burton on the back of four games without a win, with the Brewers' visit the first of nine home games which form the majority of Ipswich's 13-match run-in.

Scoring goals has been a real problem, with Ipswich finding the net more than once in only four of their last 20 games.

"It's been tough for the last three or four weeks but it's on the whole team, not just the front boys," Sears said.

"We need a bit of help from midfield too and at the moment we're playing a wing-back system, which maybe isn't as creative as it could be.

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"It's down to the team. We need to start firing sooner rather than later.

"We have good players and we see it in training every day but we need to start doing it in games.

"Before you know it it will be May and we'll either be looking back thinking 'what a waste of a season' or we'll be thinking about the play-offs or even better than that.

"We've got nine home games, which could be massive. We've not been great at home but if we can get something going and give the fans something to cheer about I'm sure they'll back us.

"We need to play positively and try to get results. They need to come sooner rather than later."

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