Ipswich Town column: Joey Sadler sees plenty of reasons to be very optimistic both on and off the pitch
It’s been another eventful few days in the world of Ipswich Town. Saturday’s deserved victory against Plymouth was followed by Tuesday night's Fans' Forum at Portman Road and I’m not sure which performance was classier, the players’ or Kieran McKenna and Mark Ashton, who once again dazzled fans with their responses to all questions thrown at them.
Before I dive into any off-the-field antics, I think it’s only fair to start by saying how good McKenna’s Ipswich were last Saturday afternoon.
We were all aware of the threat and prowess Plymouth possessed going into the game, as well as the fact they’d just won six on the bounce without conceding a goal. Truth be told, The Tractor Boys absolutely schooled The Pilgrims and on another day could’ve easily scored a lot more. Argyle never got going, and this was solely down to Ipswich not allowing them to.
I don’t want to get into any play-off discussions because after the Oxford debacle I was certain that was that. But, we just have to keep doing what we’re doing and hope that those above us do us a favour.
With all due respect, it’s two more-than-winnable games up next for Town, who if they win both, will find themselves on 70 points with four games to go which would perhaps suggest that it isn’t all over just yet. But enough of that as I don’t want to get carried away...again!
Turning our attention to the Fans' Forum and it was another night where Ashton, McKenna and also Andy Rolls showed themselves to be very sweet talkers and gave fans even more assurance (as if we needed it) that our football club is in the safest of hands.
CEO Ashton, who once again conducted himself in a very professional and approachable manner, clearly has another big summer ahead – but this time perhaps with more off-the-field tasks, than recruiting those to play on it. Ashton promised fans to ‘watch this space’ for both commercial and footballing activity and yesterday announced a new head of recruitment in Sam Williams.
Sam, like McKenna, joins The Blues from Manchester United and has been involved in the signings of Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo, so I guess you could say has some pedigree.
One of the quotes Ashton continually used on Tuesday night was his belief that the staff who worked for the club were all ‘world class’ and with Sam coming in from arguably the biggest club in the world, that would certainly suggest he’s got just a little bit about him!
Mr Ashton does make me laugh sometimes, with his very philosophical and passionate approach, but I’m a big fan and remain confident he is the man we need to get us back where we belong. I had the pleasure of meeting Mark in a coffee shop back in October and he really was everything you see at these fan forums – a hungry, dedicated and successful man who won’t stop until he gets what he wants.
Another attendee on the panel was Rolls, who came who across well. I think it’s fair to say most Town fans know who he is, but didn’t quite understand his role on a day-to-day basis, which Andy was able to explain very clearly and painted a good picture of the importance of his role.
Andy said his role was prominently to ‘take the jobs the manager doesn’t need to do, so he can focus on the football’ which I think is music to all of our ears, especially Mr McKenna! Andy is clearly a man very well regarded and despite some question marks over his jacket choice from Ashton, came across superbly well.
And finally, McKenna. What can’t this man do? I’m convinced you could throw this man into rugby and he’d have them playing some beautiful stuff. A good talker and an even better manager.
He really is top class. From a communication point of view, if he speaks, you just listen and it’s no surprise all of our players are buying into this man's philosophy, as you just can’t help but be mesmerised! Whatever happens this season, we should all be excited for the one that follows as long as this man is at the helm.
All in all it was another very successful Fans' Forum which had everything from bottle tops to trips to Brazil (well done to Jordan Castaldo for asking that question)
You know it and I know it – soon the rest of the world will know that Ipswich Town Football Club aren’t sleeping any more.