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Ipswich Town fan Russell Claydon says the midfield was found out, but it’s still been a great start

All the focus had been on our patched up defence, but Saturday was the day our midfield was ultimately found out.

The club-record fifth straight win at the start of a campaign was never on, with Fulham made to look like Barcelona.

What a game for me to have picked for my first live outing of the season!

The Cottagers, who were yet to record their first league win, were excellent, but we made it so much easier for them.

We are so used to Mick McCarthy setting up to nullify the opposition, so it was a pleasant surprise to see him keep faith with the four strikers that had got us on this roll.

But Martyn Waghorn and Freddie Sears failed to carry out their defensive duties, leaving the full-backs horribly exposed.

In the centre of the park Fulham’s chief creator — Tom Cairney — was given the freedom of Portman Road to pick his team-mates.

In our first four games we had been so clinical; 12 shots on target and nine goals scored. But the few chances we carved out on Saturday were wasted, with David McGoldrick’s decision-making the main issue.

The Fulham game was a painful reminder to anyone getting carried away with the early table.

But the international break is a time to reflect, and what a start it has been: 12 points from 15 was beyond our wildest dreams after our lowest finish in 58 years.

And with Emyr Huws, Tom Adeymi and Bersant Celina to come into that midfield, as well as Luke Chambers, Tommy Smith and Adam Webster returning in defence, this break has come at the right time. Our ‘Pole in the Goal’ is still here, too. Plenty of reasons to keep the optimism flowing.

n Regular columnist Zach Ward will return next week and will be on BBC Radio Suffolk’s Life’s A Pitch show discussing his Town views on Saturday (12-2pm).

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