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Kings of Anglia Issue 7 Magazine Offer With Jimmy Bullard and Tristan Nydam

Stuart Watson’s Sunday Verdict: Progress for Ipswich Town, but hard to know just how much

PUBLISHED: 12:12 01 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:02 02 October 2017

There's much to ponder for Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy over the next fortnight. Photo: Steve Waller

There's much to ponder for Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy over the next fortnight. Photo: Steve Waller

© Copyright Stephen Waller

It’s time to pause, breath, recover, assess and analyse for Ipswich Town.

We’ve reached the second international break of the season after the usual frenetic opening two months of the Championship campaign.

Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to Bristol City means the Blues have played 10, won six and lost four in the league. They’re eighth in the table with a game in hand on most. They have five more points than they did at this stage last season. This is a replica of the start made during the play-off season of 2014/15.

• Five observations from Ipswich Town’s 3-1 home defeat to Bristol City

They’re scoring more goals (it took them until mid-December to reach 20 last season), on the whole have looked more dynamic and been more entertaining, summer signings have impressed, homegrown players are getting game-time, while there are some key players to return from injury. It’s everything we realistically could have hoped for. And yet...

Four days on from that scintillating 5-2 dismantling of Sunderland on Suffolk soil came a limp showing. Luck and the referee were not on the Blues’ side, but they didn’t help themselves either. The impressive Robins, who must take credit, are now unbeaten in 11 games across all competitions. Town once again came up short against one of the division’s better sides. And that’s the worry.

All six of the teams they’ve beaten are in the bottom half. Five of them are 18th or below. Sunderland game aside, the victories have not been utterly convincing.

We won’t be able to fully judge how far Town have progressed until they’ve played everyone once.

• Mick McCarthy didn’t foresee flat display

After winning the opening five in all competitions, it’s now five losses from seven. There will undoubtedly be plenty more twists and turns to come.

The problem is, there’s a zeitgeist in place. A new generation of fans don’t remember this club in the top-flight, let alone conquering Europe. This is year 16 in the Championship. It’s been a slow and steady decline full of false dawns.

Is it harsh on Mick McCarthy and his players for every small set-back to be hyper-analysed because of that background? Yes, but that’s where we are at.

This season could still go one of two ways. Deep down there’s a nagging sense this is a mid-table outfit at best. At least the ride might be a bit more enjoyable this time around.

• Like our Facebook page for all the latest Blues news

Hosting a barbeque or grabbing a cool pint in the local pub for the England game tomorrow? Check here to see how warm it will be where you are.

Thousands of the region’s bravest swimmers donned their wetsuits and took the plunge at the Great East Swim when it returned to Suffolk today.

A special baton relay will arrive on the Suffolk coast on Monday as part of celebrations to mark the centenary of the formation of the RAF.

Essex Police says it is “very concerned” for the welfare of two missing young people – who are believed to be together in the Colchester area.

Shoppers have expressed shock after plans to shut to a “struggling” East of England Co-op store in Ipswich were announced.

Four people arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the death of a man in Chelmsford yesterday have been released.

From a tribute music festival to a muddy obstacle course – there are plenty of events for people to enjoy across Suffolk and north Essex this weekend.

Thousands of runners dressed in pink are expected to descend on Trinity Park near Ipswich this weekend to play their part in the fight against cancer.

The coast of California USA and Fore Street, Ipswich swimming pool are worlds apart in several ways, but for former Ipswich lady, Karen Quezada, nee Spanner, who now lives in California, the little Victorian built pool in Ipswich holds a special place in her heart.

Rail services between Ipswich and Cambridge are returning to normal after a freight train broke down at Bury St Edmunds this morning.

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