Ipswich Town column: Trust Mark Ashton to deliver on striker to fill George Hirst’s big boots
Fun in the cup. It wasn't long ago Ipswich Town couldn't buy a win in the FA Cup but since Kieran McKenna has been at the club victories in this competition have thankfully been something to enjoy again.
Of course, there's no denying that Town were expected to beat AFC Wimbledon on Saturday, and there certainly would've been a few groans if they hadn't got the job done in south-west London. But as the old saying goes, Town got themselves ‘in the hat for the next round’ and now have a home tie with non-league Maidstone United to look forward to.
What do you make of the tie? I'm relatively happy with it. Yes, everybody is after a Liverpool or Manchester United away, as I'm sure Maidstone were themselves, but for Ipswich Town it's a real chance to progress to the last 16, and I'm just thankful it isn't a tie against a team already in our league, which seems to often happen to us.
So that's that and we now turn our attention back to league action with Town hoping they are able to get their first win in five in the league in a Sky Sports televised game at Portman Road against Sunderland on Saturday tea-time (530pm).
Despite the incredible start I think we all knew this season wasn't ever going to be plain sailing and there's no doubt Town have had a wobble recently.
Injuries have played a big part in that and January is huge in trying to repair any damage that's been done.
We've still got time on that front, but I can understand some supporters’ frustration at wanting bodies in as soon as possible, especially at the top end of the pitch.
I was devastated to hear the news about George Hirst as was everybody else.
The frontman has been absolutely vital to Ipswich Town this season and arguably their most influential player.
It means filling his boots is going to be hard for anybody and it's not going to be a easy deal to do, or a cheap one.
But if there's one man who can buy gold for the price of plastic it's Mark Ashton and we have to trust him to get things right.
So come on Ipswich, let's go again and get 2024 off to a flyer at Portman Road.