Stuart Watson’s Sunday Verdict: I believe that we will win, I believe that we will win...

PUBLISHED: 18:36 25 November 2018

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert applauds the vocal support following Friday night's 2-1 home defeat to West Brom. Photo: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert applauds the vocal support following Friday night's 2-1 home defeat to West Brom. Photo: Steve Waller

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Town lost 2-1 at home to West Brom on Friday night and are now six points adrift of safety at the foot of the Championship table. Chief football writer STUART WATSON gives his thoughts.

Lambert puts an arm around a disappointed Cole Skuse at the final whistle. Photo: Steve WallerLambert puts an arm around a disappointed Cole Skuse at the final whistle. Photo: Steve Waller

Belief. It’s different to hope. You can’t fake it.

Hope comes from the heart. Belief comes from the head. The two combine in the gut.

So what’s your gut feeling as to whether Ipswich Town will stay up?

Paul Lambert believes.

Jack Lankester's late free-kick glances of the outside of the post. Photo: Steve WallerJack Lankester's late free-kick glances of the outside of the post. Photo: Steve Waller

MORE: Fuller Flavour: An emotional night which made me so proud of my club

Judging by captain Luke Chambers’ comments, the players believe now too whereas before there was doubt.

Doubt is dangerous. It’s the hope that kills you. Belief – true deep-rooted belief – is what we all need right now.

But belief needs evidence. The mind cannot be tricked.

And despite the lack of a win in Lambert’s first three games, there has undoubtedly been enough evidence to keep fuelling that belief.

There’s a phrase in football; concentrate on the performances and results look after themselves. Well Town have certainly performed since a change of manager.

Two points from nine could easily have been seven.

MORE: Stu says: Five observations following Ipswich Town’s 2-1 home defeat to West Brom

Teddy Bishop returned to action following a lengthy lay-off. Photo: Steve WallerTeddy Bishop returned to action following a lengthy lay-off. Photo: Steve Waller

Yes, ifs, buts and maybes tend to occur a lot in the post-mortems of relegated teams, but there is still a long, long way to go.

Lambert has effectively cheated the rule book in making a signing outside of the transfer window. It sounds cheesy, but he’s added the proverbial 12th man.

His positive words and energetic touchline presence are infectious. Players and fans alike have been galvanised.

Portman Road was rocking on Friday night.

A crowd of more than 22,000 was in attendance, despite the Friday night game being on television. Photo: Steve WallerA crowd of more than 22,000 was in attendance, despite the Friday night game being on television. Photo: Steve Waller

For belief to overpower hope in the gut you need a leader. Lambert is that leader.

MORE: ‘He told us to have a right good go and we did that’ - Chambers taking the positives

It got me thinking about the chant that became synonymous with the USA team at the World Cup four years ago.

It’s a call and answer from the hype man and his crowd. Each word is bellowed then shouted back even louder. It’s a slow, rhythmic battle cry that reaches a crescendo.

Town players in a pre-match huddle prior to the 2-1 home defeat to West Brom. Photo: Steve WallerTown players in a pre-match huddle prior to the 2-1 home defeat to West Brom. Photo: Steve Waller

I...

I believe...

I believe that...

I believe that we...

I believe that we will...

I believe that we will win! I believe that we win! I believe that we will win! (repeats).

Just like the words in that chant, it does feel as though Town are slowly building towards that first victory under Lambert.

And when it does come, just like in the chant, several more could follow.

MORE: ‘Sometimes the table does lie... I honestly believe we’re going to be fine’ – Lambert on Town’s 2-1 home defeat to West Brom

For Ipswich to get themselves out of this mess then that is what is required. The gap to safety has now widened to six points.

History shows that the few teams who have completed the great escape from such a perilous position go on remarkable winning runs.

Mid-table Bristol City, who have lost their last four games in a row, travel 200 miles to Suffolk on Wednesday.

Could this be the game which signals lift-off under Lambert?

Altogether now...

‘I...’

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