The Verdict: Town up and running against spirited Wigan side

We look at the talking points from Sunday’s 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic thanks to goals from Teddy Bishop and Gwion Edwards.

A winning start

After the longest break in history, it is great to be up and running with three points on the opening weekend of the season.

Town started with only one change from the comfortable win against Bristol Rovers last Saturday, with James Wilson replacing the injured Luke Woolfenden (little groin niggle from Friday’s training). The back four of Luke Chambers, Toto Nsiala, James Wilson and Stephen Ward will certainly know they have been in a game up against former Blue Joe Garner.

Yes, it is very very early days, but with the likes of Sunderland, Peterborough, Portsmouth and Oxford all dropping points on Saturday, it was great to see the Blues claim maximum points at the first time of asking.

Midfield maestros 

The buzzword from all of pre-season has been identity, and Ipswich are certainly in the process of creating one. After seeing the team sheet at 11am at the before mentioned back four, there were doubts if the free-flowing football which has been a recent pattern of play from Town would be on show.

The early exchanges backed that up with the likes of Wilson and Nsiala going rather more direct. However, that was a more temporary measure and the Blues soon started playing with Dozzell getting on the ball more frequently.

The midfield three were another big plus for Paul Lambert in this game, just like in the previous couple of games. The three seem to complement each other and are certainly the strongest area of the pitch for the Town manager to choose from.

Putting the game to bed

As mentioned, this game was far from plane sailing for the Blues. Town spurned several opportunities to put the game to bed before substitute Gwion Edwards made the game save ten minutes from time.

Aaron Drinan hit the top of the bar from five yards out, Teddy Bishop hit the post after Jones got fingertips to his goal bound effort, Chambers failed to connect with a header in the six yard box and Sears could have passed for Drinan to score in an open net, but instead chose to shoot just before the break.

After the break it was more chances coming and going for Town. Judge’s header was off target, Wilson placed a shot well wide, Sears failed to hit the target with a near identical free-kick to one he had just before the break.

On another day, Wigan could have levelled the game. Too many times last season Town let the opposition off the hook when having the game by the throat, perhaps like Tuesday’s defeat against Arsenal’s U21s, that is something which the Town coaching staff will be looking to address sooner rather than later.

Credit to Wigan

Sunday’s victory was certainly not a full gone conclusion. Wigan certainly played their part and had their chances to leave Portman Road with something. 

New manager John Sheridan could be wondering what might have been after full-back Emeka Obi missed two early chances when he was left unmarked, but thankfully for Town he missed failed to take either of them.

Joe Garner produced something out of nothing when acrobatically hitting the bar from an overhead kick with Tomas Holy unmoved on his line.

With Gary Roberts on all dead ball situations, the Latics posed a threat from several set plays throughout the 90 minutes.

There were comparisons with Bolton Wanderers from last year, who Town beat 5-0 at the Reebok Stadium last season, but Wigan certainly have more about them then the struggling Trotters who are now in League Two.

Missing men

It is worth mentioning that Paul Lambert was without various first-team players for different reasons. You could argue that Kane Vincent-Young, Flynn Downes, Luke Woolfenden and Kayden Jackson would all start in an ideal Town eleven.

While there are huge question marks over the futures of Downes and Jackson, it is perhaps absence from Vincent-Young and Woolfenden Town miss more. The style of play which the Blues are now adopting suits the games of KVY and Woolfenden and you feel there is still a lot more to come from this Town team once the pair are back in the side.

A win on the tele!

The last time Town were victorious on TV was an away win at MK Dons back in December 2015. Since then the Blues have been on view for the nation on 16 occasions without tasting victory.

Let’s hope we don’t have to wait another five years for a win on the tele…

Images: Richard Calver / TOTT

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