Mike Bacon: Town fans have been proved right, time and time again. So, pray tell us now... what’s happening at Ipswich?

25 February, 2020 - 17:00
Town manager Paul Lambert and his assistant Stuart Taylor searching for options, late in the game against Oxford.  Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.com

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

Stephen Waller

In his weekly column on the Blues, MIKE BACON, admits it’s worrying times and there’s no getting away from it.

Jon Nolan is taken off his feet by Marcus Browne in the Oxford game.   Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comJon Nolan is taken off his feet by Marcus Browne in the Oxford game. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

So, let's say Town do turn all this around, win eight of their final however many games, get in the play-offs and get promoted back to the Championship via the play-offs!

Then what?

As if the here and now isn't a big enough concern - the future appears even more daunting.

This current squad in the Championship?

Think about that a moment. We'd have to invest millions on new players. Can you see that happening?

Kayden Jackson vents his frustration on the tunnel as he leaves the pitch following his red card.   Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comKayden Jackson vents his frustration on the tunnel as he leaves the pitch following his red card. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Or maybe we'll be consigned to a decade in League One! Or equally as bad, a yo-yo team (Championship to League One, by the way, not League One to League Two! Hopefully!)

I try to be positive. I honestly do.

"It ain't over till the fat lady sings" is, I suppose, the phrase that can be hurled the way of Town fans right now - with the Blues still within sight of the play-offs.

Let's hope so.

But come on.... How on earth are Ipswich Town fans supposed to be feeling positive?

Matty Taylor wheels away after giving the visitors a 1-0 lead late in the first half.   Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comMatty Taylor wheels away after giving the visitors a 1-0 lead late in the first half. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

We've had to stomach our team dropping to our lowest position in zillions of years.

We've had to stomach watching any player, of any decent value, sold!

We've had to stomach being incapable of seemingly ever being able to beat our 'friends' up the A140 on Derby Day.

And now we are having to stomach us looking like a bang average League One team.

Most of us have had a gutful to be honest.

Ipswich Town general manager of football operations Lee O'Neill (right) and owner Marcus Evans watch the recent 1-0 home loss to Oxford United. Photo: Steve WallerIpswich Town general manager of football operations Lee O'Neill (right) and owner Marcus Evans watch the recent 1-0 home loss to Oxford United. Photo: Steve Waller

Yes, we'll support our team 'forever more'.

We'll still be supporting it long after the current boss, owner and squad have departed.

But - not for the first time in recent years - this season is starting to feel like Groundhog Day.

Win one, lose one, half decent one minute, crap the next. Loans, freebies and excuses. Season after season. Is it ever going to end?

Platitudes of grateful thanks to the fans from the hierarchy, five year plans, the shortest-ever reign from a Town manager - lots of 'we can still do this'.

Kayden Jackson battles with Alex Gorrin.   Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comKayden Jackson battles with Alex Gorrin. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

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We've seen and heard it all.

Yet here's the rub. We're a knowledgeable bunch here in Suffolk, you know.

Those of us who said we shouldn't postpone games during international weeks when we had momentum, have gone from being ridiculed to realising, you know what? We were right.

We bemoan transfer windows coming and going with little Town interest because, as fans, we know it's a missed opportunity, and we don't pretend to understand what use 'squad rotation' is/has been.

Teddy Bishop in action after coming off the bench late in the game.  Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comTeddy Bishop in action after coming off the bench late in the game. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

We've called out former managers who have snarled at and criticised us, even though it didn't take a genius to see the football we were being served up was at times appalling. We were right to do so.

And we certainly know this current squad ought to be good enough for at least a solid place in the League One play-offs, with a manager who has done it before in this division.

So, pray tell us. What's happening?

Of course as mere mortals, should we be ever granted an answer, we'll be told there is alot we 'don't understand' about football.

Really?

Town manager Paul Lambert flicks up the ball ahead of an Ipswich throw-in.   Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comTown manager Paul Lambert flicks up the ball ahead of an Ipswich throw-in. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Don't be so sure.

There is much we see, hear, read and sense about our football club right now.

We understand more than you think.

MORE: Super computer says Town have 1 in 4 chance of play-offs

Luke Garbutt crosses.   Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comLuke Garbutt crosses. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

I was saddened to read of the passing of Simon Warr.

I was chatting to him at a game just a few weeks ago and although he looked frail, he was still his usual effervescent self.

Simon was a great fan of the non-league scene here in Suffolk and his enthusiasm and good humour was, I know, loved by all the non-league clubs he used to report on with such vigour.

I used to thoroughly enjoy listening to his reports and then interviews with managers and players after games. He was fun and popular.

Teddy Bishop with a close range effort that was blocked by Oxford keeper Simon Eastwood.   Picture Steve Waller  www.stephenwaller.comTeddy Bishop with a close range effort that was blocked by Oxford keeper Simon Eastwood. Picture Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Even though I'm a journalist, his use of the English language would, at times, put me to shame...

... Like many, I will miss him.

Simon... Thanks for all you did for the non-league game and the fun chats. Rest In Peace.

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