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Fuller Flavour: Should we be worried? The next five league games will tell us a lot

18 November, 2019 - 19:00
Ipswich Town are second in League One with two games in hand - but should fans be worried? Picture: STEVE WALLER

Ipswich Town are second in League One with two games in hand - but should fans be worried? Picture: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

In his latest column, Karl Fuller grades Town's performance so far this season - and asks 'should alarm bells be ringing?'

I am really looking forward to getting back to Portman Road League action this Saturday - so much so that I've forgotten what that feels like. The team will be unrecognisable!

The past week has seen a couple of cup games - one meaningless and the other an EFL Trophy match. We've still got to get through a cup replay with Lincoln and then at long last, we can get back to the serious business of the league.

I sincerely hope that all those that have had 18 days off are fit and raring to go against Blackpool - that's if they don't suddenly appear at Lincoln!

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Wycombe's victory at Tranmere on Sunday put us down to second place and with two games in hand now, we would all have taken that position at the start of the season.

So, with a third of the season gone, is our report standing at A+ currently or is that too generous?

Well, there's certainly no complaint at our present league position and our results to date but if we're honest, performances have not been up to scratch for 90 minutes of any game and there's an argument/debate to be had about where the points have come from.

Ipswich Town finally return to league matters at home to Blackpool this Saturday. Picture: STEVE WALLERIpswich Town finally return to league matters at home to Blackpool this Saturday. Picture: STEVE WALLER

As it stands, 24 of our 33 points have come from the bottom 11 sides and of the six games played so far against teams in the top 12, we've only won two of those.

Should that have the alarm bells sounding? That is something we will get to find out. Not just in our next two games when we face Blackpool and Wycombe, two teams in the current top five, but our next five league games are all against teams in the current top 13.

This is our chance, leading up to Boxing Day, to put some of those that might challenge our promotion credentials firmly to the sword and make a real statement of intent for the second-half of the season.

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Defensively, we still have the best in the division and we're still in the top five scorers. To the neutral, it would suggest we're in a very good position and indeed we are.

But most Ipswich fans I speak to have a nagging doubt in the back of their minds since there are not really any games this season where we have had 90 minutes of dominance.

Town boss Paul Lambert has steered his side into an enviable position. Picture: STEVE WALLERTown boss Paul Lambert has steered his side into an enviable position. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Maybe that just doesn't happen at this level. I've never been here to know. This then has some people suggesting that, if we get promoted, the current squad is not good enough and we'd only come straight back down.

But which side promoted from any division then goes again the following season without some strengthening? That would come if promotion is achieved and something to look at on another day. Is the current squad good enough to go the distance this season is a more pressing matter?

As far as the games already played are concerned, I really enjoyed the second-half against Tranmere, much of the Shrewsbury and Southend games and the first-half performance against Sunderland.

Other halves (and full games) have been less enjoyable yet despite times of frustration caused by matters on the field of play, off the field has still been enjoyable and I'm always yearning for more.

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So, whilst I don't think a report of the season so far merits anywhere near an A+, I would be happy to go along with a C+ with room for improvement.

If you've got Facebook, you'll know that you get presented with an 'on this day' memory of something you've posted on the date in a previous year.

My weekend was full of memories of last year when so many of you joined me in the ticket appeal, raising money to buy tickets for fans who could not ordinarily afford to go to a match.

A few people have asked if I would do it again. I'd love to and hope to one day. But then, a year ago, there was no plans for what ultimately happened.

Could such a scenario ever be created again? We'll have to wait and see but my heart would dearly love to do it all again.

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