Ipswich Town fan Russell Claydon says the Blues need not fear the Championship’s top teams after combining key ingredients

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  • Two more away wins, at MK Dons (1-0 Saturday) and Fulham (2-1 Tuesday) propel Blues into the play-off places
  • Russell doesn’t share believe top teams still have too much quality for Town’s squad of free transfers and minimal fees
  • Pitman and Sears show money doesn’t dictate success in front of goal
  • Our columnist is joyous at backs-to-the-wall shut-out and urges home crowd to crank up the volume for Derby and QPR visits

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. Oh what fun it is, to see Ipswich win away, hey!

My favourite tweet of Tuesday (via @IpswichTownFans) encapsulated the feelgood factor that has sprung out after six points were captured from trips to MK Dons and Fulham.

While others bemoaned a ‘dire’ performance at Stadium MK, it was just the sort of solid rearguard action I had been desperate to see return

Russell Claydon

It’s left us sitting pretty in the top six after completing four straight away wins for the first time since 2004 with Freddie Sears’ 16-second stunner (not the Blues’ fastest, would you believe) and Brett Pitman’s second half conversion combining to sink managerless Fulham.

But while the festive spirit is in full flow, there remains a fear the quality the very top sides, such as visiting Derby County (Saturday, 3pm) and then QPR, will bring to Portman Road over the next few weeks will facilitate a reality check in the same way Middlesbrough did.

But while I’m usually critical of our owner’s reluctance to spend on transfer fees, I don’t share this belief our challenge is built on sand, about to be washed away by opponents propped up by greater riches.

In Ryan Fraser, David McGoldrick, Teddy Bishop and Kevin Bru, we have a quartet to return that I believe have the quality to help us live with the best in this division.

Meanwhile, it’s two-in-two for Pitman and, along with Sears, what a piece of business he has been.

While others bemoaned a ‘dire’ performance at Stadium MK, it was just the sort of solid rearguard action I had been desperate to see return. It proved this team has the potential to go a step further than the class of 2014/15.

A new creative wide flair, sorely missing then, has been added, but there were doubts that defensive steel that served us so well could exist in tandem with this remodelled Ipswich.

Saturday’s tense and turgid 1-0 win ground out in Milton Keynes left me in no doubt though; these are exciting times, so let’s follow Leicester City’s lead and get Portman Road rocking to the tune of this upward beat.