Mike Bacon: Woolfenden's post-game video was desperate to watch - throwing our young players under the bus has got to stop

Mark McGuinness with his hands on his had at the final whistle.

Mark McGuinness with his hands on his head at the final whistle on Saturday. Our young players need support. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Well, something's not right. Someone's to blame.

I know plenty of fans think it's Paul Lambert's fault. He's the manager. Maybe it is. Maybe he tells the players to go out and play underwhelmingly. Maybe his tactics are all wrong. Maybe Kayden Jackson isn't a winger - I don't know.

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert has been backed publicly by owner Marcus Evans. Picture: PAGEPIX

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert has been backed publicly by owner Marcus Evans. Picture: PAGEPIX - Credit: Archant

Maybe it's Marcus Evans' fault. While he's put plenty of his own money into the club, his choice of managers has hardly inspired the club to push on for life back in the Premier League - we've gone the other way!

Then again, maybe it's the players who don't listen to the team talk. Or do they listen to it explicitly - and play it out accordingly? Or not play it out accordingly?

Or maybe it's the journos sitting high in the press box, readily waiting to pounce on another Town horror show. If they would just print 'Lambert Out', he'd be gone tomorrow many seem to think and all would be well, despite Evans continuing to back him.

Ipswich Town fans have had to send cardboard cut-outs of themselves to attend games at Portman Road

What will it be like at Portman Road when 15,000 fans are back in the stadium? Hopefully results will be better - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

At least you can't blame the fans - they're not in the stadium to vent their fury - which is probably just as well after last Saturday's first half!

What a mess.

Former players tweeting as such, even more ex-players no doubt keeping their silence. Could you imagine how toxic that ground would have been on Saturday at 6.15pm after that first-half performance?

Supporters branches calling for Lambert to go, blogger Phil Ham still banned - this is  not the Ipswich Town I grew up with.

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Yep, something's seriously not right.

Taking responsibility for a start. Where to begin on that one?

Indeed, perhaps someone would like to explain to the thousands of Town fans why, after the shambles of a performance last weekend, one of our youngest players is sent out to face the press?

Diallang Jaiyesimi scores to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

Who takes responsibility? Diallang Jaiyesimi scores to give Swindon the lead on Saturday. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

I'll say now, if Luke Woolfenden volunteered, I apologise! Good on him. But by his body language, I find it hard to think he did.

If ever a situation called out for a senior pro at the club to face the music, take it on the chin and explain to Ipswich fans what the hell that first half, especially, was all about, it was Saturday night.

But no, 22-year-old Luke faces the music. And for a lot of people I've spoken to, it was heart-breaking to watch.

Armando Dobra is taken down by Paul Caddis, who picked up a yellow card for the foul.

Armando Dobra is sent sprawling. For young players League One football is tough enough on the pitch. They need positive energies and looking after, off it. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Quite frankly, I'm getting sick and tired of our young players (I don't consider 22 years of age  'senior' by the way), being 'called out' for their mistakes by the manager, or sent out to face the press at what is clearly the wrong time.

These same young players that the club will be hoping sign long-term contracts they can shout about from the roof-tops in the future.

Lambert has said in the past senior players are 'easy targets'. I don't buy that.

Luke Chambers celebrates breaking the deadlock at Bloomfield Road. Photo: PA

Town skipper Luke Chambers celebrates his goal at Blackpool earlier in the season. Senior players are 'easy targets' says Paul Lambert - Credit: PA

All that aside, the only half-positive is that still, in this desperately rubbish league, a play-off place, even a top two place, is within the Blues' grasp. But can you see them grabbing it?

I'm not even sure getting all the injured players coming back will be the catalyst for a run of victories. Oh, I hope I'm so wrong. Because as unhappy as I am to having to write this stuff every week, it would all be reversed if we were hailing a Town promotion. And I'd apologise profusely!

Kane Vincent-Young is set to return to training on Monday. Picture Pagepix Ltd

Kane Vincent-Young, back in training. Town are still well in the promotion race, despite their form. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Well, at least this week has seen us 'celebrate' what in fairness was a good night at Portman Road, when, as I mentioned earlier, we beat Arsenal 1-0 in the League Cup semi-final 10 years ago. Although we lost in the second leg as Arsenal made the final, at least we had our moment in the sun.

A rare moment in the sun in the last 10 years.

Oh, to be writing this column one day on a wave of optimism!

Three points at Burton will lift the gloom.... very, very slightly!


Marine fans outside the stadium before the Emirates FA Cup third round match at Rossett Park, Crosby

Making memories. Marine fans outside their ground, looking forward to their FA Cup clash with Spurs - Credit: PA

IF it wasn't all depressing enough, many Town fans then had to watch the likes of Chorley, Marine, Blackpool, Crawley, Stockport, Cheltenham and numerous other lower and non-league sides enjoy an FA Cup weekend - even if they all didn't win.

Our lack of interest in the competition is an embarrassment to all the great players and managers before at Town. But we all know that.

Like many of you, I just desperately hope that when the fans return, things have picked up. Or Portman Road will be a very unpleasant place for our players and management if results don't improve.

If you think Mick McCarthy's final few weeks were ugly.....

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