Andy Munro comments on Blues’ midweek trip to Ipswich.
Blues never make things easy/it’s never over until the fat lady sings and there’s many a slip between cup and lip (the latter being only too familiar in my advancing years).A set of clichés which are now proving fairly apt as we battle for the play offs.
We knew it was never going to be easy at Ipswich, a game involving a long journey against a team with generally excellent home form. They’ve also shown a lot of character under that tough, rough ‘diamond’ Paul Jewell having come through some horrific early season performances. Blues had a necessarily reshuffled midfield due to injuries and while Elliott and Gomes are hardly a dream ticket in terms of creativity or physical presence, their work ethic cannot be questioned. However,it was never going to be a smooth performance and things weren’t helped by an injury to the influential Caldwell. We were under a fair amount of pressure but thankfully looked dangerous on the break and, following good work from Townsend, it was that man Burke again who fired the ball home when there still remained a lot to do.
In the second period, Ipswich freshened things up with the introduction of Jay Emmanuel Thomas who gave them much needed extra impetus. Eventually it was the same player who angled in a slightly fortuitous equaliser although, to be fair, he had hit the bar previously. The Tractor Boys then cranked up the pressure even further but the Blues defence held firm and could even have snatched it when Ziggy rounded the keeper but his ‘delicate’ touch was cleared off the line.
In fairness a draw was probably the right result but it would be unfortunate if our play off confirmation depended on the Reading game. However, I wouldn’t be surprised as being a Blues fan always involves stressful situations. With all the injuries, I ask myself what would I do if I was in Chris H’s shoes. Well I would rest Caldwell, Fahey and N’Daw even if they are borderline available; groin and hamstring injuries are the hardest to shake off. I would move Ramage to centre half as I think that he would do well there although that presumes that Spector becomes available. I would also either play(or bring on the pitch sooner as subs) Redmond and Husekleppe to share and freshen up the attacking workload. Either way, I think we will make the play offs. Where a team finishes in the table seems fairly academic looking at the past history of promotees visa this route although I would prefer to avoid the Hammers ‘route one’ bombardment in the semis.