Ipswich Town fan Russell Claydon says the 30-plus brigade aren’t the biggest problem

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THE clocks may have not long gone back, but a lot will be resting on Saturday’s home game with Dean Saunders’ Doncaster Rovers.

If the Blues are serious about pushing for the play-offs we must keep ground with the top half of the table by brushing aside the bottom team, thus proving the humiliating 4-1 defeat at Millwall was no more than a blip.

Worryingly, it is now three consecutive games we have looked a shadow of the side who got to within a point of the second automatic promotion spot.

And with just seven points now separating the 7th to 21st placed sides, now is not the time to go through another barren run.

So, have we been found out? Are the ‘Ipswich pensioners’ running out of steam? Or have we just come up against Crystal Palace and Millwall at the wrong time?

I think its a yes to the first and last questions, while I don’t agree the age question is the big issue some would have you believe. Who was complaining after dominating promotion-favourites West Ham and Middlesborough? Or having the energy to come from behind against Brighton? Thought not. You need some pace in your side but, as Danny Haynes showed too often at Portman Road, just that is not enough.

What I would take issue with though, again, is the vulnerability down our flanks exploited by both Palace and Millwall. The diamond midfield may have dug us out of a hole but over the last fortnight it has buried us back into one.

With Aron Cresswell suspended, I was aghast to see Mark Kennedy initially asked to run up and down the length of the pitch before Jewell soon decided to switch it to an orthodox 4-4-2, albeit with Grant Leadbitter disguised, not very well, as a wideman.

I think it comes down to Jewell knowing a couple of his strongest 11 will have to come off the bench to get the right blend of personnel on the pitch together and thus keep the door from being left open at the back.

The last question this week is should Jewell have carried on playing gambling-addict Michael Chopra? Dave Jones decided not to at Cardiff but from his willingness to go public this time, it seems he is further down the road to recovery and as much time as he can get on the football pitch could be the best long-term move for both Ipswich Town and Chops himself.