Stuart Watson's Sunday Verdict: I believe that we will win, I believe that we will win...
PUBLISHED: 18:36 25 November 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town lost 2-1 at home to West Brom on Friday night and are now six points adrift of safety at the foot of the Championship table. Chief football writer STUART WATSON gives his thoughts.
Belief. It’s different to hope. You can’t fake it.
Hope comes from the heart. Belief comes from the head. The two combine in the gut.
So what’s your gut feeling as to whether Ipswich Town will stay up?
Paul Lambert believes.
Judging by captain Luke Chambers’ comments, the players believe now too whereas before there was doubt.
Doubt is dangerous. It’s the hope that kills you. Belief – true deep-rooted belief – is what we all need right now.
But belief needs evidence. The mind cannot be tricked.
And despite the lack of a win in Lambert’s first three games, there has undoubtedly been enough evidence to keep fuelling that belief.
There’s a phrase in football; concentrate on the performances and results look after themselves. Well Town have certainly performed since a change of manager.
Two points from nine could easily have been seven.
Yes, ifs, buts and maybes tend to occur a lot in the post-mortems of relegated teams, but there is still a long, long way to go.
Lambert has effectively cheated the rule book in making a signing outside of the transfer window. It sounds cheesy, but he’s added the proverbial 12th man.
His positive words and energetic touchline presence are infectious. Players and fans alike have been galvanised.
Portman Road was rocking on Friday night.
For belief to overpower hope in the gut you need a leader. Lambert is that leader.
It got me thinking about the chant that became synonymous with the USA team at the World Cup four years ago.
It’s a call and answer from the hype man and his crowd. Each word is bellowed then shouted back even louder. It’s a slow, rhythmic battle cry that reaches a crescendo.
I believe that...
I believe that we...
I believe that we will...
I believe that we will win! I believe that we win! I believe that we will win! (repeats).
Just like the words in that chant, it does feel as though Town are slowly building towards that first victory under Lambert.
And when it does come, just like in the chant, several more could follow.
For Ipswich to get themselves out of this mess then that is what is required. The gap to safety has now widened to six points.
History shows that the few teams who have completed the great escape from such a perilous position go on remarkable winning runs.
Mid-table Bristol City, who have lost their last four games in a row, travel 200 miles to Suffolk on Wednesday.
Could this be the game which signals lift-off under Lambert?