Ipswich Town fan Zach Ward says: A win, some goals, and a strike for Sears — a good week, all in all

Ipswich Town fan Zach Ward

Ipswich Town fan Zach Ward

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A win, some goals, and Freddie Sears is up and running. A few welcomed monkeys off the back this week.

While a goalless draw at a struggling Blackburn on Saturday wasn’t the worst result in the world, it was somewhat a predictable outcome.

The trip to Newcastle — the new league leaders — may, on the face of it, appear daunting. But, if the truth be told, it is something of a free hit for us.

We did test home goalkeeper Jason Steele with a number of good opportunities and, on another day, would have returned to Suffolk with the points.

It meant we went into Tuesday’s game with Burton Albion without scoring in more than eight hours of football.

Due to injury, Jonathan Douglas was left out, breaking up the ‘Skuglas’ partnership alongside Cole Skuse in central midfield, which many of the fans had been calling for, especially at home, for some time.

And it paid dividends. It was a good performance. There is still room for improvement, but the two goals we scored were excellently worked.

Yes, there was times where we looked a little open. But with Teddy Bishop in the starting lineup, we seemed to have more about ourselves going forward.

He loves to get on the ball, take people on, and drive forward. His defensive work was great, too, making a couple of lung-busting runs to make sliding challenges when Burton tried to hit us on the break.

The Brewers are actually one of the better sides to have visited Portman Road this season. They played lots of nice football, somewhat dispelling the myth that you cannot play some tidy stuff on a budget.

We did ride our luck at times. They could have had a couple of goals — but they didn’t take their chances.

Leon Best showed some very nice touches, while winger Tom Lawrence, on loan from Premier League champions Leicester City, had a moment of brilliance when he pulled off a Cryuff turn in the box to set up Sears for the second.

The relief on Sears’s face when netted on Tuesday was evident for all to see — it was his first in 38 matches. The fact Bartosz Białkowski ran the full length of the pitch to join in the celebrations proves the team spirit is alive and well.

Whatever has been said about our recent inability to carve out and take chances, our defensive record has been very good.

Five clean sheets in the last seven; seven in the last eleven; only nine goals conceded in 13 Championship matches — the joint best, along with Brighton and Huddersfield.

The trip to Newcastle — the new league leaders — may, on the face of it, appear daunting. But, if the truth be told, it is something of a free hit for us.

They seem to have found their stride at this level and from back to front have quality in the likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gale.

If we lose, we lose. Lots of teams will fail to take any points off the Magpies this season. I don’t think that’s being defeatist. Just realistic. And if we get a point or better — then great.