Can Ipswich Town Get Back To Winning Ways?
Ipswich Town play again at home on Saturday, against an upbeat Derby County side, who lie fourth in the table.
In fact, the last time The Rams conceded a goal in the Championship was five games ago against Ipswich Town at their place, in a game Town won 0-1 thanks to Callum Connolly.
Since that shock defeat, Derby have gone from strength to strength so the omens are not looking so good, and given our current midfield crisis and the obvious strength of the their squad - which includes former Town loanee Tom Lawrence and Blues nemesis David Nugent, a win is a very big ask!
What makes matters even worse is the news today that midfielder Teddy Bishop will play no further part this season, as he requires surgery on his ruptured hamstring. This kid has been plagued with injuries of one sort or another in his stop start Town career to date and this must be a devastating blow for the 21 year old.
The only consolation is that every time he seems to get hurt, it is something else and not a recurring injury.
He has been desperately unlucky so far and must content himself with focusing on next season now sadly, and his long term absence simply adds to our midfield woes.
Andre Dozzell and Emyr Huws are also on the sidelines until next term and our midfield is decimated with four other midfielders struggling to overcome injuries at the moment.
The only bit of encouraging news is that Kevin Bru, who missed the Boxing Day game as he was at a funeral, is back in the manager's thoughts and he will be keeping everything crossed in the hope that Cole Skuse recovers in time for the weekend fixture.
Derby midfielder Bradley Johnson hopes to feature after picking up a knock in a challenge against Hull on Boxing Day but if he fails to make it, we can look forward (or otherwise) to seeing Tom Lawrence playing on the Portman Road turf once again.
As if we have not got enough to worry about, David Nugent has scored 13 goals in his past 13 league starts against Ipswich so he will remain a very real threat.
After that feeble draw against QPR in our last home fixture, the pressure has mounted and if we are to stay in the hunt for a play-off place, then I think we surely need to win on Saturday.
We can expect a much lower crowd for this one and I guess much lower expectations too.
Frank Weston - Editor of Vital Ipswich