Dour draw was actually a sign of ITFC’s progress
As the referee’s full-time whistle signalled the end of a dour affair at Portman Road, I really hope the boos that followed were for him, and not our side.
While Saturday’s goalless draw with Wigan was one of our poorer performances of the season, it does show how far we have come on a shoestring budget to be disappointed with such a result.
To be disappointed with a home draw against a side who made the FA Cup semi-finals and play-offs last year, and who passed us off the park when we last met in Suffolk, does signal progress — despite their struggles in this campaign.
Consensus on the train home back to Bury was the lack of a plan B with the absence of our main man Daryl Murphy.
We played virtually the same style of play as if our leading marksman was still in the side.
While this meant we restricted the visitors to very little in the way of chances, we never looked like scoring ourselves.
Noel Hunt won far more headers than he had any right to and there was endeavour as always, but a goal never looked likely.
It wasn’t a classic – much like our transfer deadline day on Monday.
In recent years, it is more or less the way we like it.
Despite not bringing in any fresh blood, we have kept the likes of Tyrone Mings, Murphy, Teddy Bishop, and an ever-improving Kevin Bru, who are all key pieces to the McCarthy jigsaw.
Saturday’s draw now means we do need a win on the road at Rotherham on Saturday (3pm) to keep with the division’s pace-setters.
On a run of one win in six in all competitions, it is vital for the Tractor Boys to end this blip, ensuring it does not become a prolonged bad run of form.
Ipswich have won their last five games against Rotherham — a run that started in October 2003 thanks to a Pablo Counago brace in a 2-1 win at Portman Road.