Ipswich Town fan Russell Claydon says play-offs fight not over while punches still to throw

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It was not the knockout punch people would have you believe, but it certainly was a hammer blow.

FA Cup holders Wigan showed the difference between a side accelerating towards a shot at promotion and some Tractor Boys struggling to get up through the gears.

Like on so many occasions this season, the first tricky corner was negotiated relatively smoothly.

Tommy Smith hooked in the opener to ensure the centre-backs have bagged two more league goals than the entire midfield (eight against a meagre six).

But from there you were never confident, even at home, that we would take all three points.

While Wigan are the form team in the top four divisions in the country, among those teams no other has let as many points slip from their grasp after being ahead in games as Ipswich.

Saturday’s three conceded goals means it is now an eye-watering 28 points surrendered from winning positions.

While it is shocking enough to associate this with a typically stubborn McCarthy side, it is even more so knowing that having kept hold of just half of those would have seen us sitting in third position.

But while I cannot realistically see us bridging the six-point and three-team gap, rather incredibly, we are still not out of it.

Sixth-placed Nottingham Forest have not won in five, Reading (seventh) have only won once in that time and Brighton’s Achilles’ heel seems to be scoring goals (only 39 in 35 matches).

You may think I am clutching at straws, but with a trip to Óscar García’s Brighton (ninth) up next on Saturday (3pm), Derby at home on Tuesday (7.45pm) and Forest to visit after that, we are not on the canvas yet.

n Brighton’s former Diss schoolboy Matthew Upson is set to return to the Championship’s meanest defence to face Ipswich, having started out in their youth system.