Russell Claydon’s Ipswich Town column: Where would we be without Tom Lawrence?

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Another false dawn or Mick McCarthy’s turning point?

As delighted as I was to hear all the improved positivity coming out of those that attended Saturday’s 2-2 draw with promotion-chasing Reading, I can’t help but favour the former.

I’d happily be proved wrong, but you have to wonder where we would be without loan star Tom Lawrence?

How the Leicester player was not selected on the shortlist by SKY Sports’ ‘expert’ panel for their Championship Player of the Month is beyond me.

Without Lawrence’s goals (8 in his last 8), the eight-point and six place buffer between us and the drop zone would alarmingly be just three points and one place!

Like Ryan Fraser last season and Jonny Williams (the first time around), Mick is doing a decent job of papering over the cracks with some loan stardust.

But although Lawrence is here until the end of the season to help safeguard our immediate future in this league, regrettably, he isn’t part of our future.

I was admittedly a tad harsh about the loan signings last week (writing in the aftermath of Tuesday night didn’t help) and I was yet to hear Emyr Huws was so desperate to come he had helped finance the loan himself. An attacking midfielder who scores goals, Huws, if signed permanently, could prove to be as good an addition in the long run as Lawrence’s loan arrival.

On the table and form, Aston Villa away on Saturday (3pm) is our best chance of three points this month. But with the players now at Steve Bruce’s disposal, and his guile behind them, I’m struggling to see that happening.

n A poll around Town’s greatest loans sparked debate this week (how was Reuser not in there?) but it detracted from the important news: Tommy Smith’s comeback. Tommys at front and back certainly gives me more confidence.