There we were last Sunday.
Ipswich’s trip to Accrington, Live on Sky Sports for the whole country to see, the leaders of League One out there to be seen in their infinite glory; when I proclaimed the words: “Where is our challenge?” out of all the teams, I really didn’t expect it to be Stanley.
So, our week started at 4am on the Sunday, a trip up to Lancashire to continue our dominance of League One, International break over and fresh legs, or so we thought.
We arrived in Accrington full of hope, but this was quickly extinguished as the players exited the team coach.
The spine of the team was missing! Norwood, Vincent-Young and Downes all out injured, with Wilson suspended, we were in for a right showing, well so we thought, with players chomping at the bit to get into the first team.
Unfortunately, the binary opposite happened. Ipswich Town echoed the form of a team lower than Accrington in the table, currently that only consists of five sides.
They were not at the races, and what was there excuse? “A bump in the road” was the only answer we got, there were more than a few of those during the 500-mile round trip, I can assure you.
Regardless, we had been unbeaten throughout the whole of the first 11 games in the title race, one small blip wouldn’t cause the wheels to fall off, would it?
We had an opportunity to set the record straight against Rotherham at Portman Road, Ironically, you’d be interested to know we’ve picked up more points on the road this season than at home, not something that resonates with a team who are gunning for top spot.
So when it came to playing Rotherham, we were full of hope but not certainty. We had to bounce back at the first opportunity to really show we mean business!
90 Minutes of pure dross, battered in every sense of the word, second to every ball and the Yorkshireman walked away with all three points. Questions are starting to formulate in the back of everyone’s minds – have we fallen into a false sense of security with our team perched nicely at the top of the league?
Norwood with a lovely finish for his and Town’s second. Come on!
— Ipswich Town FC (@IpswichTown) October 26, 2019
Fortunately, I have and will always be a realist even when it comes to Ipswich Town thus is my role as a mediator amongst the fans, but Town’s problems have been there all season!
We conceded four goals against two sides with two big front men, no coincidence that both sides put pressure on our non-ball playing back three.
Had we been too one dimensional in our attacks? Could we only score if James Norwood was on the pitch? Questions that still need answering, despite our 3-1 win against Southend last weekend.
Southend could have been a banana skin for us, fortunately we were clinical that day. We did the basics, when it mattered, and this won us the game – however I am not convinced we are over the hump, Southend regardless of their appointment of Sol Campbell got battered 7-1 AT HOME just a few days earlier by Doncaster Rovers.
So the challenge finally came and to be honest with you I didn’t really know what I expected, we now have another short break before we visit Rochdale.
Our fixture list will be rather congested after the next international break, however by that time I expect us to be fully prepared for the likes of Blackpool, Wycombe, Pompey and Coventry.
I mentioned it before and I will mention it again, we need to outplay and physically beat teams, not ponder on 1 goal leads. Im not sure many people agree with me on this one, but at this very moment in time, our playing ability in sitting on a false sense of security painted by our astounding start to League One.
I want to see our side cement that place at the top of the table for good!
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