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Kings of Anglia Issue 8 Magazine Offer

Stuart Watson’s Sunday Verdict: A week which suggests Town are heading for mid-table mediocrity

PUBLISHED: 13:01 26 November 2017 | UPDATED: 23:27 26 November 2017

Dominic Iorfa reflects on his missed challenge which allowed Albert Adomah to score Aston Villa's second on Saturday. Photo: Pagepix

Dominic Iorfa reflects on his missed challenge which allowed Albert Adomah to score Aston Villa's second on Saturday. Photo: Pagepix

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It was a week of highs and lows which ultimately suggested Ipswich Town are destined for a mid-table Championship finish at best.

Ipswich Town fans at Villa Park. Photo: PagepixIpswich Town fans at Villa Park. Photo: Pagepix

The Blues are more than halfway through their so-called acid test of five tough fixtures in 15 gruelling days.

First, they snatched a last-gasp equaliser in a 2-2 draw at Hull City. The positive – yet more comeback spirit shown. The negative – a sense of an opportunity missed given the tame Tigers were wounded early on.

OPINION: Karl Fuller – ‘The air of predictability is evident’

Then the boot was on the other foot as Town conceded a last-gasp equaliser in a 2-2 midweek draw with Sheffield Wednesday at Portman Road. It had been an impressive performance against a high-flying side, but profligacy and late naïvety saw two points dropped.

The fit-again Teddy Bishop slides into a challenge on Alan Hutton at Villa Park. Picture: PagepixThe fit-again Teddy Bishop slides into a challenge on Alan Hutton at Villa Park. Picture: Pagepix

REACTION: McCarthy on ‘appalling’ defending, refereeing inconsistency and Bishop’s return

There could be no arguments following a 2-0 defeat at in-form Aston Villa on Saturday. Town gifted the hosts both goals in what is becoming a worrying recurring theme.

Were they utterly outplayed? No. It’s no coincidence that they keep coming out the wrong side of these fine margins affairs with the division’s leading sides though.

OPINION: Sears’ struggle for form continues

Emyr Huws has a flashpoint with Alan Hutton during the second half at Villa Park. Picture: PagepixEmyr Huws has a flashpoint with Alan Hutton during the second half at Villa Park. Picture: Pagepix

Every single one of Town’s 26 points have been claimed against teams currently in the bottom half.

Mick McCarthy’s men have now claimed 14 points from their last 14 games (relegation form).

And they are yet to play four top-half sides, including potential runaway leaders Wolves.

Winning that long-awaited game-in-hand at Derby tomorrow night would close the gap to the play-off places to three, but defeat against Tom Lawrence, David Nugent and co would see it widen to nine.

OPINION: Six observations from Town’s defeat at Villa

The iPro Stadium may have been a happy hunting ground for Town in recent years (unbeaten in nine), but the Rams recorded an eye-catching 3-0 win at Middlesbrough on Saturday to make it six wins from eight.

Town punched above their weight in the early years under McCarthy’s management, underachieved in finishing 16th and are now realistically performing to the level of their budget.

REACTION: Knudsen – ‘We were not good enough’

At least it’s been more entertaining this season and should continue to be with creative midfield men Emyr Huws and Teddy Bishop back from injury.

There’s enough firepower and togetherness to beat the strugglers, but too many technical and defensive limitations to mix it at the top.

Too good to go down, not good enough to go up and almost certainly set for a 17th successive season in the second-tier. That’s just where we’re at.

RATING: Andy Warren gives his player grades and so can you

How do we break such a state of inertia? That’s a discussion for owner Marcus Evans and soon to be out-of-contract McCarthy to have in the new year. Oh to be a fly on the wall for that conversation.

A man who attempted to arrange to have sex with a child was jailed this week as well as a burglar and a London drug dealer. Take a look at how long they spend behind bars.

A man and a woman have been arrested following an altercation in the car park of the Golden Hind pub in Ipswich.

Black bin bags full of rubbish were left strewn across a part of the Suffolk countryside.

A taxi, coach and mini-bus hire company in Ipswich has stopped trading, leaving a group of customers with a prior booking waiting for a minibus that never turned up.

A Kesgrave woman wants to spread the word about a Halloween project which keeps children with food allergies safe.

Police cuts have been blamed for a slump in crimes prosecuted at the crown court in Suffolk.

Thick fog across the East of England overnight could cause travel disruption during the weekend, weather forecasters have warned.

Eight students at the Lindbergh Campus in Ipswich, which provides alternative education as part of the Raedwald Trust, have had their stories published in an international book as part of a short story competition.

From a perfect Ofsted report to a Suffolk teenager on the X-factor with Robbie Williams - make sure you are up-to-date with all of our stories.

A county council run care service has been described as ‘exceptional’ following their Outstanding care quality rating.

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