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Talk of the Town - an exclusive weekly look at Ipswich Town
ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD TOWN CORRESPONDENT MATT PLUMMER DELIVERS HIS WEEKLY THOUGHTS ON THE NEWS FROM PORTMAN ROAD:
Remember the good old days of Fortress Portman Road?
We’ve been treated to golden eras down the years when Ipswich were a genuine force on Suffolk soil.
I remember Town steam-rollering teams, playing them off the park under former boss George Burley. It was a question of how many they would score – not whether they were going to win.
However, apart from one memorable campaign when they only lost once under Jim Magilton, the club’s castle walls have been breached all too often in the last decade.
Sadly, this season is shaping to be one of the worst.
Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat against Watford was Town’s third in a row on home soil and their ninth at Portman Road. That’s two more than they have won there and one more than they have suffered on their travels.
Teams are prevailing with alarming regularity and the concern is that in those last three defeats only one goal was scored at the right end.
It’s unfathomable how a team that wins at Cardiff and grinds out a draw at Leeds can flop so depressingly against Reading and Watford.
But flop they have done and my moans and groans in last week’s column could easily be lifted and used again this week.
It’s genuinely been a week of deja vu – positive, encouraging result at the weekend followed by limp, woeful display on the Tuesday.
To be fair, Ipswich were marginally better against the Hornets.
The first half was fairly even and it might have been a different story had Gareth McAuley’s header hit the net instead of a post (what a sublime delivery from Jimmy Bullard). But apart from that, Ipswich huffed and puffed, had plenty of possession but then failed spectacularly in the final third.
They created so little and, in the end, it was bordering on the tedious.
Town fans deserve more and it certainly hasn’t been much fun being a season-ticket holder in recent years.
Apart from that campaign of one defeat in 2007-08, the statistics make grim reading and you can see why patience is again wearing thin.
Paul Jewell’s honeymoon is over and the bubble, it would seem, has burst.
Getting results on the road is one thing but backing them up at home is essential.
This season has gone, in terms of promotion, but if anything is to be achieved next term the bedrock has to be consistent success at Portman Road. That, quite frankly, means a massive and rapid improvement from where we are now.