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Mike Bacon: Ipswich Town in League One. Is your glass half full or half empty?

North Stand fans' glasses are always half full. Photo: STEVE WALLER

North Stand fans' glasses are always half full. Photo: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

As the new football season gets ever closer, MIKE BACON, takes a look at the reality of life in League One for Ipswich Town

Cole Skuse, his experience will be more crucial than ever now. Picture PagepixCole Skuse, his experience will be more crucial than ever now. Picture Pagepix

Now we've all had time to digest relegation from the Championship, are you looking forward to Ipswich Town playing in League One? Or not?

I've read and listened to a diverse range of views on the subject.

From the pessimists who are sure the Blues are set for a decade in League One, before dropping into League Two and eventually into Bostik North - to those who can't wait to visit new grounds and attend the open-top bus ride around the Cornhill next May - (avoiding the water feature, obviously) - parading League One trophy aloft.

I think it is fair to say I'm leaning more towards the open-top parade than Bostik North.

But one thing is for sure - those who think it will be some sort of cake-walk for Town next season, had better splash cold water over their faces right now.

League One will not be for those of a nervous disposition.

Alan Judge, crucial signing for Town. WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMAlan Judge, crucial signing for Town. WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

It will be tough and uncompromising, with experienced pros pulling the strings and eager youngsters keen to make their mark. It could be a potent mix at times.

Remember - if you needed reminding - Town couldn't beat Lincoln City in two separate FA Cup games a few seasons back.

That, when more than 50 places in the pyramid and two full divisions separated them. Next season they're in the same league.

If you were a neutral and were given a free £10 bet, who would you put your money on to win the League One game between the two sides at Sincil Bank next season - Lincoln or Town?

And of course the Blues, like Sunderland have found, will have a very tempting target on their backs.

Ipswich will understandably be considered a 'big club' in League One. There aren't many former UEFA Cup winners in the division.

Portman Road is a classy place to come and play football, fine pitch, nice stadium and capable of generating a good atmosphere.

Put simply, any League One player worth their salt will be looking forward to playing Town away.

Oh dear, I'm drifting into pessimism here... drag me back!

Okay, okay, all that aside, Town still have a good chance of bouncing straight back into the Championship.

By the time you read this James Norwood may be back from his holiday and is now a Town player. Alan Judge is already signed up.

While fans cry out for young players trust me, in League One, the likes of Judge, Norwood, Luke Chambers and Cole Skuse are going to be absolutely pivotal.

Paul Lambert (inset) has challenged Ipswich Town's young players such as Myles Kenlock and Teddy Bishop to deliver on the pitch. Picture: ARCHANTPaul Lambert (inset) has challenged Ipswich Town's young players such as Myles Kenlock and Teddy Bishop to deliver on the pitch. Picture: ARCHANT

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Rochdale, away, on a wet Tuesday night in January (don't worry, I haven't seen the fixtures, I'm only guessing!), will likely be as much a battle of physicality as a game of football.

Young players will likely sink or swim.

'Faint heart never won fair lady', so my Uncle Bob, used to say, referring to anything from competitive sport to chucking new ingredients into my auntie Joy's chilli!

In Paul Lambert Town do at least have a manager who knows what it takes to win promotion, but he will know football talent alone won't get the Blues out of League One.

Character and bottle will be as crucial as 'Cruyff turns' and 25-yard thunderbolts, 'top bins'!

Luke Chambers and James Norwood. Will add the necessary physicality to the Town side in League One. Picture: ARCHANT/PALuke Chambers and James Norwood. Will add the necessary physicality to the Town side in League One. Picture: ARCHANT/PA

Then again, that skill and good football is where I think Town have an edge. There are many good footballers on Ipswich Town's roster.

So, despite a few concerns, I will say my glass remains well above the 'half-full' line right now.

Hopefully, I'll be topping it up a bit more 10 games in.

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Lincoln City's John Akinde and the Lincoln City's players celebrate with the league two trophy after the Sky Bet League Two match at Sincil Bank, Lincoln in May. They will be opponents for Town next season Photo: PALincoln City's John Akinde and the Lincoln City's players celebrate with the league two trophy after the Sky Bet League Two match at Sincil Bank, Lincoln in May. They will be opponents for Town next season Photo: PA

DID you see Ipswich Witches race at Belle Vue on BT Sport on Monday night?

I know my good golfing friend Graham Cook, he of ex-Felixstowe Ferry GC and Seckford GC fame didn't, because he hasn't got BT Sport and is always telling me to stop moaning about not being able to watch the World Cup cricket because I don't have Sky!

I suppose I could go round his house to watch the cricket and he could come round mine to watch the speedway.

But he drinks more than me and I can't afford to top him up with beer all night!

Ha! Ha!

Anyhow, the Witches were superb at Belle Vue, losing out in a last-heat decider.

Town manager Paul Lambert, has done it before in League One.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMTown manager Paul Lambert, has done it before in League One. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

They are still right up there in the Premiership. Hopefully they make the play-offs... Although I'm starting to worry the play-offs may coincide with me and Cookie's golf tour this year in Bridlington... Oh dear!

Then again, so long as we find a pub with BT Sport in, we'll be fine!

TEDDY BISHOP stars in Kings of Anglia issue 11. ORDER HERE, P&P FREE

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