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Northstander: Mark my words, Bersant Celina won’t start a dozen games for Ipswich Town

PUBLISHED: 09:02 20 September 2017

Ipswich Town's Bersant Celina takes a shot against Bolton on Saturday. Photo: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town's Bersant Celina takes a shot against Bolton on Saturday. Photo: Steve Waller

© Copyright Stephen Waller

My mates who support other teams just don’t understand. They glance at the results, and the Championship table, and send me texts saying things like: “I bet you’re thrilled with your team.”

If I reply in anything less than an ecstatic tone, they say: “You Ipswich fans are never happy. You moaned all last season when you were struggling, and you’re still moaning when you’re in the top six!”

And they’re absolutely right – in a way. If you look at the table, how can we do anything other than purr with delight? Five wins out of seven, fifth place, and top if we win our game in hand. A great start!

There’s that old saying about the league table never lying, isn’t there? Well, just this once, I think it is telling a few porkies. No way are we a top six side. We have a really tough run coming up, so let’s look at the table again in the middle of October.

I know this comes across as really miserable and ungrateful. Believe me, I’m delighted we’ve made such a great start. Of course, results are, at the end of the day, what matters most. But it’s also about performances, and entertainment, and that’s where Town are still so sadly lacking.

The first half on Saturday was, I’m afraid, a throwback to last season’s dire fare. McCarthy got his selection wrong but, to be fair, he recognised his mistake and changed it at half-time.

Why he didn’t start with Celina? I just don’t understand. Was it because he had missed training during the week with a dead leg? Or is that he’s simply not a McCarthy-type player? It was the ideal opportunity to give him a start – you could see he terrified the Bolton defenders when he was belatedly introduced. Tell you what, I bet he doesn’t start a dozen games this season. Mark my words...

The proof in the pudding is how many people are prepared to pay to watch the kind of football being served up at the moment. Saturday’s crowd saw more than half the seats in the stadium sitting empty. It was the lowest Portman Road crowd for a league game in 19 years, since a game against Swindon in October 1998.

Success will bring people back, as will entertaining football. Currently, we’ve got the former, but not the latter.

The jury is still out on this season. As I said, let’s assess things in a month’s time.

In this week’s nostalgia, we take a look at when two goals from Chris Kiwomya earned Ipswich Town a replay with Aston Villa in the fourth round of the League Cup, in December 1992.

Ipswich Town take on Aston Villa, at Villa Park, in a Championship match this afternoon (3pm). STUART WATSON previews the match.

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Teenage midfield duo Flynn Downes and Tristan Nydam must compete for their places now senior players are returning to fitness, says Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy.

Fit-again Teddy Bishop is ready to play the role of super sub for Ipswich Town, says boss Mick McCarthy.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy is ‘absolutely not’ seeking retrospective punishment for Sheffield Wednesday defender Glenn Loovens following his nasty challenge on David McGoldrick on Wednesday night.

Mick McCarthy is set to field ‘a few fresh faces’ when Ipswich Town face Aston Villa tomorrow, while he hinted at a start for Emyr Huws.

Following the news David McGoldrick faces a month out with a groin injury, sports writer Andy Warren looks at the arguements four and against Mick McCarthy’s potential replacement options.

Ipswich Town take on Aston Villa, at Villa Park, in a Championship match tomorrow (3pm ko).

Bartosz Bialkowski expects the return of midfielder Emyr Huws to give Ipswich Town a real boost as the Blues prepare for Saturday’s clash with Aston Villa.

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