IT HAS taken a year too long, but finally the wheels seem to have started to turn on the revolution at Portman Road this week.
For a quick recap: Ronan Murray was called back from Swindon Town and a bid turned down for the youngster in the fear he will become the next Jordan Rhodes; Tamas Priskin was kicked out of the door (not the words the ITFC press office would use but amounts to the same thing) without even waiting to see whether we could drive him to Russia for a fee and given more of our prized pound notes as a golden goodbye; starlets Luke Hyam and Josh Carson are having long-term contracts thrust under their noses; oh, and we’ve been linked with numerous young players, including an unnamed teenager and Portsmouth duo Joel Ward (22) and Jason Pearce (24). Now breathe...
But it is all in stark contrast to what happened last week when another stop-gap measure that smacked of desperation saw goalkeeper Alex ‘I’m spending my future with Reading and can’t wait’ McCarthy (23) joined us for a three-month loan that will see one thing guaranteed under the deal: We will have to change our goalkeeper AGAIN before the end of a season that could potentially end in the bottom three and a one-way ticket to League One.
But I’m glad some bright spark at the top has suddenly decided, with us four points from the drop zone after we chucked away another lead at home to Blackpool on Saturday (2-2), to ditch the been-there-and-done-it-before got-one-last-chance-to-do-it-again policy. And done so in favour of a young-hungry-going-to-bust-a-gut-to-get-this-club-up strategy. In effect, Simon Clegg has this week tore up a nine-month plan in favour of a five-year plan. Sadly, if there had been a vote by season ticket holders at the start of the campaign, I think we wouldn’t be at this stage now.
Hopefully, people have accepted we’re not going to dispense with our manager at this stage of the game now and are going to get behind him and his team, because boy only knows they need you lot right now.
A trip to 11th-placed Leeds United without Jason Scotland and possibly a few others doesn’t bode well when three points are a must but their form, at least, doesn’t worry me as much as our defence right now. Again on Saturday, we all knew at 2-0 up it was time to fasten our seatbelts as Kevin Phillips was given the freedom of Portman Road to salvage a point. Aron Cresswell has had more praise than most in this column this season, but his positioning for the equaliser was ‘diabolical’ (in my best Alan Hansen impression). And I’m hoping the new mantra at Ipswich, which saw Hyam, Carson, Smith and JET in the side Saturday (albeit forced) continues at Elland Road because we need a bright new dawn at this club now, before it slides into a whole new raging storm.