Ipswich Town fan RUSSELL CLAYDON says the Blues need to reroot themselves in the community

THE much-loved Suffolk Punch that adorns our shirts is rumoured to be as rare as a giant panda — and a stoppage time winner for Ipswich is probably rarer still.

But that is just what we got in the Ricoh Arena, where a snow leopard in the snow storm at bottom side Coventry was probably as expected as a 95th-minute Ipswich winner by those shivering in the away end.

What a week it has been to be in blue. We all feared the triumph of the trouncing of league leaders West Ham would be tinged by another embarrassing display against a side fighting for their Championship lives.

But we got six points from six, although another defensive shambles almost contrived to undo our good forward work again, including three goals, one very much a golden goal, for troubled striker Michael Chopra.

Hats must go off to Paul Jewell for utilising a page of the management bible not really given enough kudos in these days of Prozone stats and more Prozone stats — the old ‘gut feeling’.

Chops became a shadow of his former self recently with his much-publicised gambling problems taking their toll. But just at the right time, Jewell made a last-minute switch ahead of the hammering of the Hammers, which proved a masterstroke.

He often tells the fans he sees what we don’t, and the last week has seen that backed up on the pitch.

Chops’ follow-up on Lee Martin’s penalty and instinctive and decisive near post header prove the fox-in-the-box is sniffing out the net once again.

But what we all want to know is: A turning point or another false dawn?

We can’t say yet, but the home game with Tony Mowbray’s Middlesbrough will give us a big indication.

Sixth-placed Boro have not won in five attempts in the league in 2012, having drawn with Crystal Palace 0-0 at the weekend, but have plenty of firepower to hurt our fragile defence.

Keep 11-goal Marvin Emnes — set to return after missing Sunderland — clear of a celebration at either end on Saturday and we could start believing the sun is not going down yet.

I’m really pleased with the attacking balance of the team at the moment, with JET and Martin, now given a decent run, providing a spark that lack of games failed to properly ignite earlier in the campaign.

Defence is what worries me and not having a stable goalkeeper has been a big problem.

Tuesday sees a trip to Portsmouth with three Town targets sure to be ready to up their game. Four points would more than do for me right now.

Finally, in an interview I did with released midfielder Jamie Griffiths this week, he called for Ipswich to re-enter the county cup.

I could not agree more with him; we used to be a family club rooted in our community, but just look at us now...