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Ipswich Town column: Kieran McKenna’s side looked leggy in Norwich and Watford matches but confident for win against Middlesbrough

It’s been a frustrating few days for those in blue. Last week brought hope, excitement and belief that Town weren't only going up, but their hoodoo against Norwich City could also finally come to an end.

Sadly that wasn't to be and a scrappy afternoon in Norfolk ended in familiar fashion, with the Canaries on the right side of the result. Sigh.

Derby disappointment provided us with a huge opportunity to put things right against Watford at Portman Road on Wednesday and after Leicester and Leeds dropped points the night before, it felt like a big one in the automatic promotion race.

Suffolk News' Ipswich Town columnist Joey Sadler believes the Blues will collect three points tomorrow
Suffolk News' Ipswich Town columnist Joey Sadler believes the Blues will collect three points tomorrow

The result, however, didn't transpire that way and we were left to rue missed first-half opportunities. A 1-0 defeat and 0-0 draw mean all of a sudden it's two games without a goal for the Tractor Boys.

There's no doubt this sickness bug and fatigue is taking it's toll right now. We've looked leggy for a while and haven't managed to hit the same velocity in any of our games since that 6-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday.

That said, I don't think we played bad on Wednesday. Watford were half decent and on another day Town win that game, so we have to take the positives of a really good first-half performance and take it into Middlesbrough this weekend.

There's always interest when it comes to us, but I think many will be eager to see the battle between Kieran McKenna and Michael Carrick. The former Manchester United colleagues – and friends – are two hot managerial prospects.

With Boro chasing the play-offs and needing to win, I think this could make for a really open and expansive game, which will only suit Ipswich and is one I feel confident we get all three points in.

After this weekend comes a week off, with scheduled opponents Coventry playing in the FA Cup. I think that could be huge. A break during a busy schedule, but also a big opportunity to get George Hirst and Wesley Burns back into the side. We have really missed them.