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

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.

Do you recognise anyone in our Yates photo gallery? All pictures were taken in Ipswich on Saturday, July 21.

Stargazers are eagerly looking forward to the first total lunar eclipse for several years on Friday - but there are doubts over what weather conditions will be like.

A spectacular scene is set to unfold in the sky this month with the first total lunar eclipse for several years.

A crash on the A12 is reported to have caused major delays for rush hour motorists this morning.

Today is likely to be the hottest day of the year - marking the start of another week of scorching temperatures.

Hot temperatures are set to bring alterations to this evening’s peak rail services - with speed restrictions expected on routes through Suffolk and Essex.

There were reports of people seeing the Red Arrows flying over parts of Suffolk last night.

Extreme heat has contributed to delays in the re-opening of the leisure pool at Ipswich’s Crown Pools.

The summer holidays have arrived, here are some fun ways to keep your children entertained without having to spend a lot of money.

A police car chase ended with a dramatic “sting” in Suffolk last night.

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