Opposition view: One moment of magic against Norwich and the Ipswich hoodoo could be over
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Kieren Standley, part of the Ipswich Town Talk podcast, is in the chair ahead of the East Anglian Derby for our regular Q&A with an opposition fan.
So, not a good start to the season – what been going wrong?
It hasn’t been a great start and what’s frustrating is that we’ve barely been outplayed in any of our games so far. The main issue seems to be a combination of not scoring enough goals and conceding way too many goals from set-pieces. We’ve signed a lot of new players this summer so it’s going to take time for them to gel and get up to speed with the way Paul Hurst wants to play. Once it clicks, I don’t think we will continue to see these problems.
Are you happy with the appointment of Paul Hurst?
I’m absolutely delighted so far, he’s been a breath of fresh air. Results aside, he’s come in and completely transformed the landscape at the club and we can now start to enjoy going to games again. It still remains to be seen whether or not he will be successful, but his philosophies and actions so far give Ipswich fans a lot of hope for the future.
And are you happy with his summer transfer window business?
This has been the most enjoyable transfer window I can remember. Hurst has addressed all the problem areas and has brought in some very exciting players in the likes of Trevoh Chalobah, Gwion Edwards and Jon Nolan. Yes, it wasn’t ideal to lose Martyn Waghorn and Adam Webster, but the new additions, paired with the romantic return of Jon Walters, have definitely softened the blow.
Who is the Town player who will cause City most problems?
That would definitely be Gwion Edwards. He has looked sensational since his arrival from Peterborough and has the ability to get fans off their seat. If he puts in the level of performance we’ve seen from him in the previous home games, I wouldn’t envy the Norwich full-back tasked to defend him.
And which City player would you be most concerned about?
I’d say Onel Hernandez is key to Norwich. He’s looked like a complete game changer from what I’ve seen of him. Janoi Donacien will have to be on his A-game if we are to avoid another James Maddison-like performance coming against us.
Derby days are ‘different’ – what are the consequences for either team if there a positive result?
We absolutely have more to lose than Norwich as with the current record, they can go into derbies with less pressure on them. The Ipswich fans are tired of this hoodoo, but that isn’t the biggest concern for me. Lose this game and we’re looking at six games without a win and rock bottom of the league after more demoralising derby anguish, but win this game and it could be huge in terms of building for the rest of the season. Ipswich simply have to win this game or the pressure cooker will start to boil.
Don’t like to rub this in but it‘s been a while since Town popped the champagne corks? Is that about to change?
The law of averages says that Ipswich are due to win a derby and I think Norwich fans would reluctantly agree with that. We all thought it had happened in February, only for Timm Klose to rip it away from us with seven seconds to go. I feel like the two sides are so evenly matched that this is our best opportunity for a long time to put this horrendous streak to bed. That said, we have to respect the threats that Norwich have and understand this won’t be an easy game.
So, what’s your score prediction?
I’m going to follow my heart and predict a narrow Ipswich win to get our season up and running. I’m expecting an incredibly tight affair with neither side willing to take too many risks in fear of making a mistake. Just like the last derby at Portman Road, I think it will take a moment of individual brilliance to decide this game. It’s likely a pipe dream but I love the romantic narrative of Jon Walters returning to score the winner in the derby. Prediction: Ipswich Town 1 Norwich City 0.