Ipswich Town column: Martin Lambert says Crewe game a missed opportunity to lay down a market but was impressed by Scott Fraser in new role and wowed by Bersant Celina strike
Well, that was awful. Freezing cold and sat watching scrappy football wasn’t quite the season I had in mind, but here we are as we enter December desperate for anything positive to cling to.
Crewe came to Town having won only twice all season and winless on the road – and we somehow managed to dominate them for just 45 minutes.
Not just that, but we also managed to make them look like a credible threat, almost a play-off team!
First off, Cookie again appears to be listening to yours truly, as he did opt to make a change in midfield by selecting Fraser alongside Morsy and dropping Evans to the bench.
Fraser, for my money, did a wonderful job moving the ball with urgency and crispness and looking to break the lines of Crewe. He came so close to the perfect assist but Bonne sadly couldn’t finish. Everything we’d been missing. He did, however, fade as the game went on.
The first 45 was so good that at half-time I was feeling optimistic.
We’d largely been on top, had the better chances and were 2-0 up.
It was a good opportunity to go lay down a marker and really put a Crewe side who looked low on confidence to the sword.
Instead, what we got served was akin to cold porridge.
We got the job done, managed to leave with three points but the display will have left nobody satisfied.
Cook, often criticized for not making in-game changes to the shape decided at 2-0 to try and force Evans onto the pitch, appearing to change from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3 with Morsy sat behind Evans and Fraser.
The result was Crewe over-running our midfield and getting a solid foothold in the game.
Instead of changing us for the better, the change of shape hurt us. However, he did change shape and every journey of growth starts somewhere… right.
But Bersant Celina take a bow. Finidi George against Sunderland has a rival for the best goal I’ve seen at Portman Road because Celina’s goal was superb.
The touch and then the vision to spot the 'keeper off his line and then the quality to chip him was just wow!
Up next is 'cup week' at Portman Road. Arsenal U21s in the Papa John's Trophy tonight (7.45pm) and Barrow in the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday (3pm)…two wins are a must!