Crunch time for Ipswich

NOW is the time for the players of Ipswich Town to stand up and be counted.They have two home games coming up, and nothing less than six points will do.

Elvin King

NOW is the time for the players of Ipswich Town to stand up and be counted.

They have two home games coming up, and nothing less than six points will do.

Wins against Cardiff City on Wednesday and Norwich City next Sunday will not only set Portman Road rocking it will also re-ignite fading Coca-Cola Championship play-off hopes following Saturday's thoroughly depressing 2-0 defeat at rock-bottom Colchester United.

Blues skipper Jason De Vos today issued a rally call to his players, saying: “This chance may not come round again.

“We must all realise this on Wednesday, some of the younger players have not been in the game long enough perhaps to appreciate it.

Most Read

“I am desperate for promotion, and with the bulk of my career behind me it means so very much to me.

“We have got to grab the fantastic opportunity that is in front of us. We have to bounce back.”

Ipswich can argue that they have improved on last season's 14th place and that progress is being made.

But in a poor division a failure to get into the play-offs would not be appreciated by supporters who have generally stood manfully by their team.

Yes, in derby games the form book is regularly torn up, but Ipswich Town being well beaten by minnows Colchester United is not an easy stat to stomach.

Ipswich with their pedigree, history, facilities, relative wealth, stadium and crowd levels were beaten by a club operating on a shoestring who lost their best players in the summer and list a Watney Cup success as one of their highlights.

It doesn't add up, and the memories must be erased against Cardiff - and Norwich.

This was just one in a number of forlorn trips Town have made to struggling sides this campaign - but it was the worst against a side that had not kept a clean sheet for 39 games.

Ipswich now look as though they are vying with eight other clubs for the sixth and final play-off place. It is not good odds, and manager Jim Magilton must get his men into gear on Wednesday.

De Vos added: “We have to hold our hands up and take the blame for conceding two bad goals.

“Colchester had two chances - took them well and ran out worthy winners.

“We missed chances - we had enough to win - but we must take collective responsibility for that.

“There was effort and there was passion, but the manager was right to have a go in the dressing room at the end.”

De Vos did not think that adverse headlines surrounding his comments before the game had any bearing on the result.

“The paper apologised, and I don't think it affected Geraint Williams and his team in any way,” said De Vos.

Ipswich expect to have Shefki Kuqi available for the Cardiff visit - and possibly David Norris.