Relegation down to League One could be a blessing in disguise for Ipswich Town
If it wasn’t already inevitable, the third tier of English football is surely now staring Ipswich Town in the face for the first time since 1957.
Many believed the damage was done after a New Year’s Day defeat to Millwall, but after some encouraging signs of improvement, a few wins and a few decent points, the belief of a great escape slowly started to creep back.
But after Saturday’s ‘must-win’ against Reading turned into a loss, barring the Blues winning nine out of the remaining 11 games (which truly would be remarkable) this once great football club must now accept relegation for the first time in 18 years.
So, what can we expect from League One? I think it’s clear to say, similar to the Championship, this division has developed vastly over the last few years and has become increasingly more competitive.
There’s some big clubs down there at the moment, with the likes of Wolves, Leeds and Sheffield United recently doing their duties in that league too, so anybody who thinks The Tractor Boys are going to go down and find it easy, really would be optimistic.
That said, I do believe there is some quality in this team and the amount of bad luck we’ve had – from refereeing decisions to injuries – has been ridiculous, so a fresh start with the right faces introduced could turn into something exciting.
I suppose in this situation you have to try and find some positives.
And many Town fans I’ve spoken to are quite looking forward to the prospect of visiting a few new grounds, a fresh start and a full pre-season under Paul Lambert - myself included.
Despite the defeats we have looked considerably better, and if ‘Lambo’ is able to develop his philosophies, recruit the right players and, fingers crossed, get Alan Judge and Will Keane in a blue shirt again next season, then a trip down to the country’s third tier could potentially end up being just what Ipswich Town needed.