I don’t think we learned anything new after the Newcastle game. It’s disappointing, yes, but it’s out of the way now and we now have one thing to play for.
I don’t think the players will dwell on it too much, for all the same reasons as the fans won’t. Deep down we all know it was a tough ask of the players to go out and beat the mags but that’s done. Our recent form in the league is pretty decent, particularly against sides around us, and while Ipswich have had an unbelievable season so far they’re not in fantastic form and it may be a good time to play them.
You can take a defeat one of two ways - you can mope about and become demotivated, or you can use it as a tool to spur you on. This team more often than not in the last few years has reacted well to adversity and I back them to rebound well, and quickly.
There’s no shame in losing to a top ten Premier League team. It’s nothing like the league, and given we’re sixth, I’d suggest the results over the season so far suggest that we’re a good Championship side capable of a top six finish - and given the lack of goals from strikers, frustrating defending at times and naff results against poor opposition that has hampered us in the league, I think there’s a lot more to come from these players and a lot of room for improvement.
Jon Guy says…
There’s nothing to say we can’t get back to winning ways on Saturday.
The cup game was a one off in more ways than one and hopefully Michael Beale has ensured that the only thing on the minds of the team is a determination to show the fans what they’re really capable of.
The games come during a transfer window, so we might see some new faces during the next fortnight. We certainly have the talent but the big question from Saturday is with a week on the training ground, what will Beale have changed ahead of the next game?
Ipswich are going through a tough time and they’ll be desperate for a win, so we have to hope they’ll be coming at us, which will make for an open game.
A win and a few signings in the next week and we could be flying into what’ll be some tough fixtures.
We can enter the upcoming games with a degree of confidence, but the Beale factor will be key. It’s time to show that he’s the tactical genius he says he is.
Malc Dugdale says…
Despite a disappointing weekend, I’m confident that the Lads can get back at it against Ipswich at the weekend, and that they can build on that against Hull City and Stoke at home.
Although the result and the performance against Newcastle wasn’t what we hoped for, it was slightly too big a leap for our squad against an established Premier League side not long out of the Champions League.
We need to remind ourselves that Burnley absolutely romped the Championship last season, and they’re currently in the bottom three of the Premier League, some eighteen points behind the likes of Newcastle, and Luton and Sheffield United are also struggling.
Leicester are pretty much walking the Championship this season, but they couldn’t hold on to their top flight status in 2022/2023, and even performing in a one off against teams at that level is a massive challenge.
We should draw a line and focus on the next game, which means much more.
Other than a cup win against AFC Wimbledon, Ipswich won’t have won a game for about a month by the time we play them, so this is arguably a good time to take them on.
Their form has been average during that time, including a 0-0 draw away to Stoke, despite being a man better off for half an hour after Stoke went down to ten men in the second half.
They’ve also drawn with QPR and Norwich at home but also with Leicester, the latter arguably being a decent home point on Boxing Day, but that was thanks to a late equaliser.
We’re unbeaten in the league in three games, we have a striker who scored in his last league game and who ran all day at the weekend, and we can kick on from here.
Also, we don’t expect Ipswich to aim to frustrate us like some of the lower half championship teams do. They’ll hopefully have a go, and we can too.
Let’s not allow the Newcastle defeat to derail what we really care about, which is another top six finish and a trip to Wembley.
This league is where we’re at right now and this is where we need to focus our attention.
Our time will come to get revenge on the Mags, but only by using that loss as fuel for every game we play until the end of this season will we build back towards being able to compete against them on a more even keel.
They’ll keep, because we have a job to do. Let’s crack on and do it.