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Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

Northstander: ‘I really can see us being relegated’ So does Evans stick or twist?

PUBLISHED: 09:40 21 October 2018 | UPDATED: 09:40 21 October 2018

QPR celebrate after their early goal.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

QPR celebrate after their early goal. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Northstander Terry Hunt paints a very gloomy picture of Town’s current plight. But, what happens now?

Town manager Paul Hurst walks towards the tunnel at full time.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMTown manager Paul Hurst walks towards the tunnel at full time. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

Trouble. Big trouble.

In fact, the biggest trouble I have known in 50 years of supporting Ipswich Town.

Yes, I know we’ve had some poor times in those five decades. Mick McCarthy was appointed to rescue us from one such slump.

But I’ve never known anything quite like this. We’re rock bottom and, bluntly, we deserve to be. The table doesn’t tell fibs this far into the season.

Town keeper Dean Gerken punches a QPR corner clear, with captains Luke Chambers and Toni Leistner also in the air.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMTown keeper Dean Gerken punches a QPR corner clear, with captains Luke Chambers and Toni Leistner also in the air. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

What a crushing disappointment the QPR game was.

Lots of us had convinced ourselves that the long-awaited win at Swansea represented a corner being turned. A fresh dawn, if you like.

MORE:Paul Hurst: ‘I’ll take my responsibility, the players must take theirs’

Well, it doesn’t look like it now. I wrote after the Swansea victory that it showed great spirit, and the team playing for the manager. Hmmm....different story this weekend.

QPR captain Toni Leistner looks to block this Freddie Sears cross early in the QPR game.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMQPR captain Toni Leistner looks to block this Freddie Sears cross early in the QPR game. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

All of which leaves us in a right predicament.

In my view, Hurst is still not doing himself – or us – any favours with some inexplicable selections.

I’ve given up trying to understand why Gerken starts ahead of Bart. I also struggle to comprehend the back four. Pennington, a centre-half, at right-back, Donacien, a right-back, at left-back and Knudsen, who played in the World Cup, on the bench. Any explanations anyone? I can’t come up with one.

It’s no wonder we’ve only managed to keep one clean sheet all season. Surely the best back four we can muster is Donacien, Pennington, Chambers, and Knudsen? Or is that just me being a naive supporter?

Trevoh Chalobah loses his footing in this battle with Pawel Wszolek.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMTrevoh Chalobah loses his footing in this battle with Pawel Wszolek. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

As I said at the beginning, things are awful.

MORE: Rock bottom Blues booed off

I really can see us being relegated. Third tier football for the first time since 1957. The first time in my footballing memory.

Yes, it is that bad. I don’t see things improving in midweek, with a trip to Leeds. It’s not good to hear fans booing the players, but it’s hardly surprising. Two home wins this calendar year? Shocking stuff indeed.

Kayden Jackson reacts as the ball gets away from him.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMKayden Jackson reacts as the ball gets away from him. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

Hurst is spot-on when he says that, at other clubs, the fans’ reaction would be a whole lot more extreme.

Will Marcus Evans change it? Up until now, I have believed that he will stand by his man, as he did with Keane and Jewell.

But he can’t afford for this club to drop into the former third division. It would be a disaster from a financial viewpoint.

So does Mr. Evans stick or twist?

MORE: Stu Watson: Five observations from Town’s defeat to QPR

If I was a betting man, I would say the next international break will be crucial.

If we’re still in the bottom three at the break, then I think Hurst’s tenure at Portman Road will come to an end.

I certainly don’t want to happen, but I think things are moving in that direction.

THIS Friday, we say a final, emotional goodbye to our greatest – Kevin Beattie.

It still seems almost impossible to believe that “The Beat” has gone, but very sadly it is true.

On Friday, his funeral will be held, and, very poignantly, the cortège will travel down Portman Road, past the football club which Kevin loved so much.

Of course, it will go within a few feet of the statue of Sir Bobby Robson, and what an emotional moment that will be.

Sir Bobby loved The Beat like a son, and, in turn, Kevin adored Robson. That’s why the moment when the two are reunited on Friday will be so poignant.

If you are able to, please get yourself down to Portman Road for about 2.30pm on Friday.

It will be sad, naturally, but it will also be a very fitting way to pay a final tribute to the greatest player ever to pull on an Ipswich Town shirt.

RIP The Beat.

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