Fuller Flavour: My shopping list for Ipswich Town ahead of next season

Ipswich Town manager Kieran McKenna pictured ahead of the game.

Kieran McKenna has a big summer ahead to turn Ipswich Town intro true promotion contenders - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

That is that then. The season is mathematically over. For most, we knew it a couple of weeks ago. Yet until that final moment of closure arrives, there are those that still hold some hope.

The mere fact that our game was televised had most of us fearing the inevitable. Why do we not perform well in front of live TV cameras?

That is four live defeats in a row. The last three without a goal scored. That leaves us with just three wins in our last 35 screened games.

I was hoping that Kieran McKenna would become the fifth Town manager to win his first live game. Only Sir Bobby, Joe Royle, Jim Magilton, and Ian McParland can claim that achievement.

James Norwood miss-hits a golden early chance at Rotherham

James Norwood fluffed a huge chance at Rotherham - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

If James Norwood did not miss that sitter from six yards, it could have been oh so different. The last few weeks have been all about ifs and buts though.

I was always worried about the Easter fixtures right back to when McKenna first got the job and we wondered if he could take us to the play-offs.

Sure, Rotherham have been on a poor run, but that alone was never going to make Saturday’s task a given. Their second-half performance, along with their performance at Portman Road earlier in the season, showed what we need to add to our game.

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I still trust McKenna to find this ingredient over the summer months. That is four successive 1-0 wins the Millers have inflicted upon us at their place. It is all about those small margins.

The top seven or eight in our league have all had that bit extra that we have failed to find. And when it matters, they could grind out results.

Although it had no consequence to our situation, Sheffield Wednesday’s win at MK Dons on Saturday night was a perfect case in point. A team in the hunt for the play-offs having the quality to go to a team chasing automatic promotion and win. That is what I am looking for from Town this time next year – and more.

One positive that came out of the game was the performance of 19-year-old Elkan Baggott. He looked assured in what was the sternest test at our level that he could have hoped for. Rotherham have height and a real presence about them and overall, I thought that he did very well to deal with Michael Smith.

Our obvious problem continues to lie in attack. We just do not score enough goals. Top of McKenna’s shopping list must be the addition of two strikers. Then the left-hand side needs balancing and a midfield playmaker would be nice too. Am I asking for too much?

Massive praise once again must go to our supporters at Rotherham. Well done to all 1,087 of you. To attend a 12.30pm game in Yorkshire, live on TV for a fixture with nothing riding on it for Town was immense.

We have taken 39,876 fans to 22 away games so far this season. That is an average of 1,813 Town fans per away game. When you consider that the 21 teams to come to Portman Road so far this season have a combined total of 15,180 fans at an average of 723, you realise how well supported we are away.

A crowd containing at least 21,718 Town fans for the Wigan game on Tuesday will see the combined home and away number of Ipswich fans this season pass the half-million mark.

Even if that figure is not reached, it will be surpassed at Crewe on Saturday. For a third-tier club, they are phenomenal figures that have room for growth too.

The team built behind the scenes and off the back of the Gamechanger 20 ownership has set the foundations to now build a team on the pitch to aid growing those numbers.

A final well done for this week to the club on the nomination for the EFL's Kin + Carta Family Club of the Year award.

A reminder that the award honours the club that is leading the way across the EFL and continue to push their standards to provide the absolute best experience for families and young fans. The club continues to make great strides in this area and are well worth the nomination.