Ipswich Town fan Zach Ward says: ‘Renewed sense of optimism at Portman Road after encouraging start’

Ipswich Town fan Zach Ward
Ipswich Town fan Zach Ward

When one door closes, another one opens, as the saying goes.

Football can be the cruellest of games. Andre Dozzell, since making a goal scoring debut as a 16-year-old at the tail end of the 2015/16 season, was given a home start against Birmingham on Saturday.

There certainly seems to be an approach to play a little more football than we have done under McCarthy

He has patiently bided his time for an opportunity and was buoyed no doubt after a successful summer campaign with the England Under-19s.

Within 40 minutes, his season was over. Torn cruciate knee ligaments means he faces nine months on the sidelines.

Get well soon, Andre.

He was replaced with 18-year-old Flynn Downes in central midfield. The Ipswich Town academy may have unearthed another gem.

He showed composure beyond his years; he was comfortable in possession, always looked to feet, and put himself about. He played like a seasoned pro, rather than a teen playing his first minutes as a professional.

It was a thoroughly impressive debut.

In fact, it’s been a thoroughly encouraging start for Mick McCarthy’s men.

A win against Brum, where we played some nice stuff at times, a debut goal for new man Joe Garner, we are into the second round of the cup after a 2-0 win away at Luton, and two clean sheets in the process.

It is incredibly early days. But there is a sense of renewed optimism and belief around the club at the moment. There certainly seems to be an approach to play a little more football than we have done under McCarthy.

From first impressions, we have made some smart signings, too – the big and powerful Dominic Iorfa, in particular, has taken to our 3-5-2 system like a duck to water at right wing back.

So far, so good.