Ipswich Town fan Russell Claydon warns against raising the bar of expectation too high with 16 games to go

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TWO more wins for the Super Blues and as far as I am concerned it is mission accomplished for Paul Jewell, for this season.

Going on the average points total needed for Championship survival over the last five seasons, Town could be mathematically dismissing the threat of relegation, which loomed large under Roy Keane’s tenure, after Tuesday night.

Of course, a home game with Hull City on Saturday and away trip to leaders QPR three days later is unlikely to yield six points, but you get my point.

The problem is, football fans being football fans, I bet most of you, if not all of you, have been focusing on the numbers required to reach the other end of the table between now and May, specifically that coveted sixth-place.

Such is the euphoria surrounding a 6-0 win at Doncaster on Tuesday, Connor Wickham’s first professional hat-trick and all, it is hard not to get carried away. But despite Jewell picking up 13 points from his first six games in charge, we must not let expectations soar and forget the situation he inherited. The tools, bar Jimmy Bullard and Andy Drury, who made his Football League debut at the Keepmoat, are still the same. Yes, confidence is rising by the second, but build ourselves up too high only to find that bar hindering our long-term progress again would be pointless.

Next season is, I believe, our best chance of a promotion push since Joe Royle was here. This year could come close, but we would have to go on one hell of a run in order to prove me wrong (achieving two more points than Blackpool managed in their last 16 games last season), and I don’t think all the pieces are yet in place in the jigsaw. Firstly, our senior strikers; Priskin and Scotland, are simply not scoring enough, while the right-back conundrum, despite ‘Cafu’ Carlos’ emergence, definitely still needs solving, with Habib Beye of Aston Villa a good shout if a loan can be done.

My maths says we would need the equivalent of 10 wins and two draws, with just four defeats, from 16 remaining games to realistically be capable of gate-crashing the play-offs. Meanwhile, Leeds, currently in sixth, would require just seven wins from 15 to stop that happening.

No, at this moment in time I’ll be the one drawing the stares from those around me when those magical next six points are put on to that table. Madness is not always defined by numbers and I’m sure Paul Jewell would be the first one to join me in raising a glass when the time comes.

Without David Norris and Jimmy Bullard (loan agreement) against Hull City, the wise Town fan may be the one who doesn’t expect too much..

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