The View From Churchmans

Ipswich Town home match reports from just another season-ticket holder

MATCH REPORT

Ipswich Town 0 QPR 2

The sudden decline which set in after Christmas, but which was masked
by some flattering scorelines, is now very, very apparent. We were
probably just as bad as against Watford on Tuesday night, and this
time against a better side too, one which knew its limitations and
played to its strengths. Once again, it was a performance which can
only be described as absolute rubbish.

At least Joe didn’t try to pretend this time that we were OK really,
and just a bit unfortunate. In fact, lumped into some post-match
comments hinting that the fans weren’t playing their part, he quite
significantly said that some of the team weren’t showing the necessary
commitment either. And he was right, although for “some”, I’d probably
say “most”.

Funnily enough, although QPR were better than Watford, we had to gift
them both goals. We probably had the bulk of the possession, but it
was mainly in our half, passing sideways across the defence, and QPR
were happy with that. They pressed up to crowd out our lethargic
midfield, with the result, just like Tuesday, that our main weapon
ended up as long balls from a defence whose distribution is not its
strong point.

Apparently we also had nine goal attempts to their eight, although I
didn’t count us having that many.

Where’s it going wrong? The midfield looks tired, and none of them
seem to be able to create decent space, which is essential for a side
which plays balls to feet rather than into space. The strikers are
lacking in confidence, and there just seems to be a general lack of
enthusiasm for the cause. You’d have expected us to be stretched at
this point in the season, but that’s exactly why Joe brought in the
pretty decent trio of Currie, Unsworth and Scowcroft. And if we can
afford to leave Westy on the bench and Matt out of the squad entirely,
we can’t be that stretched. Joe’s going to have to show us what he’s
made of if he’s to turn this ship around.

Some ratings: (1-5 for effort, 1-5 for achievement)

DAVIES 4 (3/1): Recovered quickly from the howler of the first goal,
although I worry about his communication with the defence still. The
second looked like a bad misjudgement. One he’ll want to forget.

WILNIS 6 (4/2), DE VOS 5 (3/2), NAYLOR 6 (3/3), UNSWORTH 4 (2/2):
Hardly any different from Tuesday night, with the exception that Fab
got forward a bit more and looked up for it, albeit with one or two
mistakes too many. Unsworth looks OK if you need a good, solid
left-back, but there wasn’t any heavyweight pressure down that side,
and we needed someone who was able to offer more effective support
going forward. De Vos looked out of sorts, and too often got pressured
into making long passes forward, something he knows and we know he’s
no good at. And picking today to get his fifth booking, so I guess
he’ll miss Wigan, was a disaster.

MILLER 5 (3/2), MAGILTON 4 (2/2), HORLOCK 4 (2/2), CURRIE 5 (2/3): The
bloke next to me commented at half-time that if Joe had taken Jim and
Kev off then, nobody would have noticed for ten minutes. I just
couldn’t see what they were supposed to be there for today; there was
little ball winning, their distribution was poor, and we just had no
presence in the centre. Tommy Miller seemed marginalised out on the
right in the first half, and only started to make an impression when
he moved in slightly after Jim went off. And if I was a betting man,
I’d guess that Currie was in Joe’s thoughts when he mentioned players
not being up for the cause.

SCOWCROFT 5 (3/2), BENT 4 (2/2): Benty only looked dangerous out wide
today, and didn’t even create the chances to miss which he did the
other night. Scowie had a bit more presence but wasn’t getting much
change out of their imposing defence, and we didn’t really miss him
when the substitutions were made, although I’d like to have seen him
dropped back to midfield with Horlock accompanying Jim off.

Subs: WESTLAKE added a bit of grit to the midfield, but failed to make
a major contribution. COUNAGO, just by changing the way we played,
probably had as much impact on the game as anyone in the second half,
and at least he put himself about a bit (and managed a couple of goal
attempts). BOWDITCH made little impression.

The REFEREE was dreadful, making a succession of bad calls both ways.
Send him back to the Premiership, please. The size of the CROWD was
tremendous (nearly a sell-out), but there was nothing to get us
motivated, and with QPR bringing an impressive following, we were
out-shouted throughout. An afternoon I’ll be happy to forget.

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