DCSIMG

Ipswich Town fan Russell Claydon calls for the return of Connor Wickham to save the Blues

UNDER normal circumstances, a point apiece at an in-form Barnsley and at league leaders Brighton would be regarded as a decent return.

But that assumes you can rely on picking up three points on your home turf and the last time we did that Easter eggs were fresh on the shelves (ironically beating Barnsley 1-0 on March 31).

There is a sense some optimism has returned, but whatever way you look at things at the moment the last week has seen us edge closer to the bottom of the table, with Peterborough’s two wins cutting the gap from five points to one.

These are worrying times and it only heightens the importance of having to take all three points off new league leaders Cardiff City in the tea-time kick-off in front of the Sky cameras at Portman Road on Saturday.

Anyone who says we don’t need to win that game clearly isn’t paying enough regard to the league table — that is the deciding factor in who goes down, not performances or battling draws.

Three points from a possible 21 is relegation form and we’re looking increasing like we’re in a fight for survival.

In both away games we ended up relinquishing the lead (and hanging on for dear life at Barnsley) and although there were promising signs, with Danny Higginbotham’s leadership having provided a steadying influence at the back, Saturday has to be time to deliver.

Going into an international break bottom of the Championship would surely give Marcus Evans little choice in reviewing his stance of backing Paul Jewell.

We have a great recent record against Cardiff, a club I used to work for while training to be a journalist in the Welsh capital, but they will be hellbent on reversing that trend come 5.20pm on Saturday.

In Craig Bellamy and Peter Whittingham they have two match winners who are a cut above the rest and confidence for the Bluebirds, who now wear red, is sky high right now.

The news of Paul Taylor being sidelined for six weeks is a massive blow and I can’t help thinking that bringing Connor Wickham back to Portman Road on loan would be a good riposte to our problems at the minute.

With Steven Fletcher on fire, he is kicking his heels in the under-21s at the Stadium of Light and we have first refusal on a loan move.

Wages seems to be the sticking point, but surely something could be thrashed out? How badly do we want to get ourselves away from the relegation zone?

Without a new manager coming in, Wickham’s arrival could provide the boost we need to turn things around.

 

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