Mike Bacon on the Blues: It's time to get the ruthless heads on

Caught on Camera - The team huddle before kick off at Portman Road against Bolton Wanderers

Time to get ruthless... Town head to Forest Green on Saturday - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

I'm looking forward to Town putting on a right good show at Forest Green on Saturday.

The hype of opening day is behind us now and I'm glad for that.

Don't get me wrong, I do like the opening fixture of the season, football is back and that's great, but it always feels, if I can put it in golfing terms, like teeing off on the first... You're glad to get it over with without too much damage.

The fact Town didn't lose and indeed could have won against a team who will be up there most of the campaign, meant it was a satisfactory, but no more, day all round.

Kieran McKenna on the opening day of the season at Portman Road

Kieran McKenna, can he get Town on a roll early doors? - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

But now the real work begins.

Because make no bones about it, one of the Blues biggest failings last season was seeing off, on the road, clubs you know promotion hopefuls really ought to see off if they are intent on securing a top-two place. This Saturday the Blues possibly confront that first club, in Forest Green.

Last season Town suffered away defeats at Burton (1-2), Cheltenham (1-2) and Accrington (1-2), and draws at Cambridge (2-2, after being two up), Morecambe (1-1), Shrewsbury (1-1) and Crewe (1-1). That's four points out of a possible 21 against teams on their own patch who finished in the bottom half of League One come the final countdown.

Of course, I'm not saying Forest Green will finish bottom half this season and they've already kicked-off with victory at Bristol Rovers. They may well finish top six, I don't know.

But I do know they are not, right now anyhow, considered serious promotion contenders, likely even by their own fans, and Town need to get their ruthless heads on. We saw what happened last season after an opening day draw. We want no repeat.

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And here's the thing. If Town do get on an early roll, Kieran McKenna's side are going to be a tough nut to crack and, while I understand there are no easy games in football, there are still games a team with serious promotion credentials should be winning, Forest Green away being one of them.

Big messages before kick-off at Portman Road

Ipswich Town fans... outstanding! - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Mind you, on the flip side of worry, if there is any, we don't need to worry about our wonderful fans.

After all that has gone on in the past decade, Ipswich Town is one truly lucky club to have the support it does.

I know many fans remember the Sir Bobby Robson and George Burley days, some remember the Sir Alf ones, still quite a few none of the above. But for all of them to have the continued loyalty after what has gone on in recent years, is outstanding.

If the club is not yet Premier League on the pitch, it certainly is off it.

Lee Evans celebrates scoring against Bolton at Portman Road

Lee Evans celebrates scoring against Bolton at Portman Road - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

So, as I said earlier, I'm glad opening day and all that surrounds it is over and I suspect many of the players are as well.

It's time to settle in for the long season ahead.

'We don't sweat the small stuff', my wife is always telling me, suggesting I have to let go of things that aren't important in the grand scheme of life. 

She's right of course (as she always is!). Ipswich Town is not the be all and end all. But the team doing well is a huge fillip to us all. It makes you feel good when the result goes our way. It makes us smile, puts the town on the map.

We've been off the footballing map in this country for far too long, it's time for that to change.

I watched Sunderland draw with Coventry in their opening Championship fixture of the season at the weekend. How joyous it was for the Black Cat fans to have Championship football back again after too long a break.

Forest Green, who were non-league just five years ago, will be a good test for the Blues. For them it is a big chance to claim a big scalp.

But this Town squad is more than capable of laying down a marker in the sand. Start now, start Saturday, start our rise to promotion on the road with our first three points of the season.

Ruthless, simply has to be the word.