One step forward, one, possibly two steps back, is a fitting analogy of our stuttering season.
I’m sure I was among many Ipswich fans pleasantly surprised with the team chosen to play Bristol City. And this, along with positive substitutions, a supportive and vocal crowd and a sensational late winner, saw fans leave the ground happy. Had a corner been turned?
QPR was a game we shouldn’t even have drawn — let alone lost
But QPR away on Monday was a game we shouldn’t even have drawn — let alone lost.
The starting lineup looked great — a 3-5-2 system with Myles Kenlock and Josh Emmanuel either side of three centre backs, meaning skipper Luke Chambers was back in position, and Kevin Bru retaining his place alongside Cole Skuse in midfield.
Barring a defensive slip, the first half wasn’t bad. We endeavoured to play some football, and had some promising moves.
It was the second half where we seemingly turned the screw.
Tom Lawrence thundered in a wonder goal and it was all Town. Bret Pitman should have put us in front shortly afterwards and Kenlock was unlucky.
Then the substitution which baffled the travelling Blue Army — Jonathan Douglas was introduced with 20 minutes to play.
It didn’t have the desired effect — I felt it handed the initiative to QPR. And once we went behind, we created very little to find a late equaliser. He simply does not stamp his authority on games. He is a passenger on too many occasions.
It was all the more frustrating as Andre Dozzell had made such a positive impact in the Bristol City victory. I really thought a corner had been turned.
While I don’t believe Douglas should be playing, I would never advocate booing him during a game. It’s counter productive and, after all, he doesn’t pick himself in the side.
If McCarthy continues to persist with the likes of Douglas, he will lose the support of even the most ardent of his backers.