It seems like only yesterday that I was singing Mick McCarthy’s praises and saying that all of my relegation worries were a thing of the past.
However, with Ipswich losing and drawing their last two games and teams like Barnsley, Peterborough and Sheffield Wednesday all picking up great results, the table does not look as reassuring as it did once before.
Ipswich are now only 3 points away from the relegation zone and to top that off they still have by far the worst goal difference in the league with a whopping -21 (the second worst is Peterborough’s -14). When a team’s goal difference is that bad then it is effectively like having one point less, so it is a worrying sign for The Tractor Boys.
The question many fans will be asking is; should I be worrying about relegation still?
Looking at the table and the fact that the club are likely to lose one or two good loan players like DJ Campbell very soon, then of course the answer is yes. After all, the good results might have just been down to the famous ‘honeymoon effect’ that everyone bangs on about and it could turn out that the results take a turn for the worst from now onwards.
The goal that Ipswich conceded against Bristol City was also very disappointing. In fact the team’s first half display as a whole was very poor, especially as they were up against another struggling side. At half-time The Blues could have been two or three nil down and were very fortunate to go in level at the break.
Are all of these factors enough to give even the most optimistic fan sleepless nights?
I won’t deny that looking at it that way does make for some worrying reading but lets take a step back and analyse the situation with a bit more depth.
Barnsley, Peterborough and Sheffield Wednesday did all win on Saturday but I can’t see this happening very often. In fact I can’t see those teams all winning in the same week again this season. This is firstly because they are playing very poorly and secondly because none of those sides will be able to do much in the January transfer window.
Ipswich on the other hand are very hit and miss. It is going to be one of those Jekyll and Hyde seasons where one week we will be amazed by how well the team plays and then the next be shocked by how poor they are. It isn’t an ideal formula but it will be enough to steer us clear from relegation.
Something else that may surprise you is that Bristol City have actually picked up more points away from home then they have at Ashton Gate. I can’t help but notice that Ipswich are set to travel to Bristol City on the 26th of January too, so if you thought that The Robins looked dire at Portman Road then you can rest assured that they will be even worse when we play them in a months time.
Additonally, Mick McCathy’s record in the Championship is undeniably impressive and he will know what full well what condition the squad is in by now. If he believes that the current set of players will get the club relegated then he will not hesitate to change things in January. However, we should not lose faith in the team yet and as it stands we can all take our fingers off the panic button and trust that McCarthy has everything under control.