Ipswich Town fan Russell Claydon says Mick must start with the defence

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The honeymoon was quickly followed by the reality check as Mick McCarthy was given a front row seat of just what he has inherited with this fragmented squad.

A lack of pace, creativity, leaders, square pegs playing in round holes, and a propensity to shoot ourselves in the foot time and time again.

Tuesday night’s 5-0 defeat at Selhurst Park was unfortunately the real Ipswich Town, while Saturday’s 1-0 win at Birmingham was everything we haven’t been; committed, resilient, sharp and hard-working.

Take nothing away from Crystal Palace, they are truly flying at the minute, but boy did we give them a helping hand.

A goal difference of minus 20 is just simply embarrassing and it isn’t hard for Mick to work out where he needs to start rebuilding this side.

The irony, of course, was that on Saturday he used the Jewell formula to mastermind the three points at Birmingham; dropping homegrown youngsters Luke Hyam and Josh Carson and fielding seven experienced loan players.

But in a 4-4-2 set-up we seemed to find a system that allowed everyone to know where they were and set up lines that Birmingham found it hard to break through.

With the league’s top goalscorer Charlie Austin ready to fill his boots as Portman Road welcomes Burnley on Saturday, it’s hard to see this side keeping him out, while upfront DJ Campbell is having to feed off scraps.

Then of course, we also heard Paul Taylor is set to miss the rest of the season with his foot injury. It never rains but it pours at Portman Road.

It will be interesting to see how McCarthy reacts to the situation with an over-reliance on loan players already and the January transfer window seemingly an eternity away right now.

I’d start by reinstating Scott Loach in goal. Right now this team needs an identity more than ever and in the boyhood Ipswich fan, who is actually in this for the long haul, we’ve got someone who cares as much as we do.