TWO-HUNDRED-AND-FORTY loyal City fans made the lengthy trip to Suffolk on Saturday to see us pick up an important point in a 1-1 draw at Ipswich Town. Neil Danns got City’s goal before it was acancelled out by Tommy Smith.
We haven’t won at Portman Road in over 30 years, and given Ipswich’s recent resurgence under new manager Mick McCarthy, I wasn’t anticipating that run to end.
As it turns out manager Derek McInnes was disappointed his charges didn’t come away with all three points, after a particularly encouraging first half display. Ipswich were the Championship’s in-form team going into Saturday’s match but afterwards McInnes asserted: “I thought we were outstanding in the first half and carved out plenty of chances. The amount of chances we created and passed up - we’re disappointed with only a draw”.
McInnes could certainly be described as a bit of a “tinkerman” in terms of his team selections and tactics, but against Ipswich he surpassed all expectations in opting for a very unusual 3-4-3 formation. He also sprung a couple of other surprises; taking the captaincy off Fontaine and giving it to former Yate resident Cole Skuse, and starting summer recruit Paul Anderson for the first time.
In fairness,these changes worked and no doubt the 3-4-3 formation would’ve taken McInnes’ opposite number McCarthy by surprise. Fontaine has had a bad season and taking the captaincy off him is a good move to take the pressure off and let him concentrate on his own game.
So, some positivity on the field for City just before Christmas. Our away record this season has been okay, it’s the home form that is killing us and the reason why we currently reside in the bottom three. A big opportunity to rectify this presents itself over the Christmas period with two home games in the space of four days. Firstly, Watford are the visitors on Boxing Day (3pm) and then Peterborough United on Saturday (3pm). Unfortunately, both teams have hit a bit of form of late. Watford gate-crashed the top six following a win over Nottingham Forest on Saturday, whilst Peterborough beat Bolton 5-4.
Four points would be a good return from these two games, the Peterborough game is a big six-pointer and one we really should be winning if we want to stay in the Championship. There promises to be drama aplenty in the next week!
A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all City fans - come on you reds!
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