Ipswich Town fan Russell Claydon says ‘The good times are coming again’

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In recent campaigns, the traditional ‘lap of honour’ has been a low-key affair played out in front of swathes of empty seats.

But this year, despite missing out on the play-offs, the atmosphere could not have been more different.

We may have only been eight points better off in ninth, but it felt a world away from previous years.

Under Mick McCarthy there is a real sense we are a club finally very much moving forward again.

After walking in when we were bottom of the league and despite a shoestring budget, he has transformed us into a club on the fringes of the play-offs (I got close with my eighth-place prediction), with a unity you would be hard pressed to find elsewhere.

It was therefore fitting we ended 2013/14 on a bright note with the 2-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday.

It is surely the last time we’ll see Jonny Williams in our colours, which is a shame as he has been a delight to watch and the creative spark we had lacked.

It also looks like assist-king Aaron Cresswell may have played his last game for us, with McCarthy looking like he will have to trade him in to find the funds to bolster his squad for a stronger assault on the top six.

It would be sad to see him go, but in Tyrone Mings I agree with the boss we already have a replacement.

* Finally, how many can say they have won 9-2 at Portman Road, if any?!

I now can after living every fan’s dream by playing on the hallowed turf in the Portman Cup on Tuesday (and scoring a penalty).

Alan Lee made his managerial debut and now has plenty of ammunition against Bryan Hamilton!

If you’re considering it for next year, I could not recommend it enough.

* It’s not quite it from me, with my final column to come next week, where I will be dishing out my alternative awards.