On Saturday a new generation came so close to experiencing their first taste of a truly glorious feeling: seeing Town go top.
Some may quibble at a point at Bolton — the stalemate the first 0-0 we’ve had this season — but this was a point in the pocket coming away from a side who had won their last four on home turf and are a different animal under Neil Lennon’s regime.
Yes, we had more chances (they didn’t even have one on target) and IF ONLY the best of them had fallen to Murphy or McGoldrick instead of Jay Tabb...
But making a point up on Derby County isn’t bad.
And for a new generation of the Blue Army, there is a real chance of savouring THAT special moment if we can turn a point into a good point by following it with three against a likewise in-form Middlesbrough side.
Aitor Karanka, like Mick, has got a big second tier club going again, with the best defence thus far, and on a run of eight unbeaten games (four wins).
It will be another big test at Portman Road (3pm) with Chelsea loan star Patrick Bamford the man we must succeed in shackling.
Our own Premier League wizard, Jonny Williams, is said to be ‘almost ready’ to return, but that seems more likely with Crystal Palace, with a 24-hour recall available ahead of January 3.
Some say it is for the best; Teddy Bishop likely to be taken out. But if we’re serious about grabbing this golden ticket at the top, we can’t rely on a teenager who needs his calves rubbed every half-time, to go through three games in 11 days.
There was another big loss revealed in the club accounts (£7.1m to June) — but what cost would not taking promotion be?
* Saturday’s big match form guide: Ipswich have won their last three at Portman Road — winning seven out of 10 this term and are unbeaten in eight.
Middlesbrough arrive unbeaten in eight and having won their last two, including last week’s victory over Derby.