The Verdict: Town need to find a spark, and soon, or it will be another year in League One
We take a look at the talking points from Town’s goalless draw at Kingsmeadow on Tuesday night.
Lack of spark
Not for the first time, Town huffed and puffed without really threatening the opposition keeper. James Norwood thumped the crossbar in the first half and then had a second half chance snuffed out by the Dons keeper. Freddie Sears had a decent free-kick attempt saved whilst fellow sub Will Keane couldn’t steer Kayden Jackson’s pull back into the net. That was literally it. Town dominated the ball and were in full control of the game, but you always felt AFC Wimbledon were comfortable.
The game needed a spark, someone who could get on the ball in the attacking third and provide some quality. Dare I say an Alan Judge or Andre Dozzell type player. Both were cutting a frustrating figure about five yards ahead of me on the substitute bench. Cole Skuse should have been sacrificed at half-time with an actual number ten on the pitch to try and unlock the Dons defence. Instead, Lambert opted for safety subs by replacing James Norwood and Josh Earl for Will Keane and Freddie Sears.
The Town strikers are short on confidence, that is as clear as day. We have now scored two goals in the last four league games. If we are to get ourselves back into the top six, we need our creative players on the pitch to keep supplying our out of form strike-force.
Ipswich Town has a great history, something which we should all be proud of and acknowledge the successes of yesteryear, but we have to live in the here and now.
To a neutral last night it must have looked like two pretty average third tier teams going toe-to-toe. Our club, Ipswich Town, drawing 0-0 with AFC Wimbledon, with the score probably justified, it hurts.
Playing for the boss?
For the first time last night I left the ground, well if you can call it a ground, wondering if the players are actually playing for their boss?!
Too many players kept passing up the opportunity to grab the game by the neck and take responsibility. They looked out of form and out of ideas against the relegation scrapping Dons. It looks like there no real togetherness as a group, the subs walked off on the full-time whistle without even a single acknowledgement to the Town fans. Lambert walked away from the travelling support before turning around and giving a token clap, players like Chambers, Skuse & Holy walked past their boss to come and thank the fans.
Whilst descending onto the train at Norbiton station, I started to heat the name Connor Wickham be mentioned. Initially I thought he might have scored for Sheffield Wednesday or something along those lines, however it was Lambert who was speaking about the former Town striker.
Lambert told the press that he enquired about the possibility of taking the Crystal Palace forward on-loan. A striker who is on a reported £30,000 a week, sought after plenty of Championship clubs, never going to happen.
Unfortunately, the latest PR stunt from Lambert was purely a smokescreen to hide the poor performance and result at Wimbledon.
So, where does this leave Town in the promotion race? In short, probably an outsider for the top six, let alone the top two.
Peterborough moved into the top two, replacing Wycombe. Coventry won the battle against Pompey and Sunderland overcame Rochdale with relative ease. Town sit four points behind fourth placed Wycombe Wanderers, the team I think Town have to look at the one to catch.
We now embark on four home games out of the next five, it is now getting towards the time of must win!