It is an odd feeling for Ipswich fans right now, normally it is the time of year that the Tractor Boys call out for big changes to be made in the squad to try and prevent disaster.
However, the table right now makes for pleasant reading with Mick McCarthy’s side sitting nicely in the top six with an impressive unbeaten run still going.
Of course we are all guessing who will be targeted by the Suffolk side but another question we have to ask first is; should Ipswich be looking to sign anyone?
It may seem like madness at first to even suggest it but given the nature of the January transfer window the wrong signing could do more harm than good for Ipswich.
The mid-season window has a reputation for tempting managers to pay over the odds for players that are likely to disappoint. The price of any half-decent player will soar because of other clubs throwing silly money around in order to try and salvage their season. Ipswich have over-paid in this window a number of times and Marcus Evans will no doubt be reluctant to splash out this month.
Secondly you have to consider the effect of new signings on the squad harmony. When the team were under the control of Roy Keane and Paul Jewell there was no sense of togetherness within the squad and it showed on the pitch.
Under McCarthy there is a completely different vibe coming out from the dressing room that can be seen in the player’s body language and the way they interact with each other. I firmly believe that a large part of Ipswich’s success this season has been down to an improvement in the team chemistry so it would be careless to make a move that could potentially disrupt the dressing room.
The Tractor Boys boss has sent two defenders out on loan though so naturally he will have to bring in one or two faces. I can’t imagine McCarthy bringing in any top signings though as he won’t want to break up his current centre back partnership and it would be harsh to remove either of the two full-backs from the first team.
It has been rumoured that Richard Stearman could make a return to Portman Road but the rumours are far from convincing at this stage. The Wolves defender has six months left of his contract and the talk is that if he is not willing to sign a new contract soon then McCarthy’s former employers will cash in on Stearman instead of losing him for nothing in the summer.
I wouldn’t rule it out from happening but it is worth noting that Stearman has expressed his happiness at Wolves and with them looking as though they are set for promotion he could easily stay put.
Personally I believe that the addition of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and the retention of Ryan Tunnicliffe are good enough positives to take from the January transfer window. It will be great to see the squad strengthened with one or two back-up signings but I am not expecting anything close to a spending spree from the Tractor Boys this month.