Town sitting pretty after great start

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It is unbelievable how fast the first month of the new campaign has passed – but as the old cliché goes, ‘time flies when you’re having fun’.

And that certainly is the case for Ipswich Town fans, even if somewhat unexpected. The Blues find themselves sitting proudly at the top of the Championship table alongside both QPR and Cardiff.

Going into the new season, many fans would have argued that Roy Keane’s squad was looking particularly threadbare with many high profile players having exited the club – but it would be fair to say that it has given the remaining members a new lease of life.

Add to that a handful of very wise additions, it would seem that Ipswich Town could well be back on the path of success.

It has been a long time coming, but the disastrous start of just year ago now seems a distant memory, but not one that can be easily wiped away. Indeed, it is a stark contrast to developments of now.

Jason Scotland’s signing looks to be a key one. Whilst his recent attempt at trying to break the big-time was not altogether a success with Wigan, we must not forget the impact he had on the second tier of English football just two seasons ago at Swansea.

Two of his 25 goals will bring particularly bitter memories to the Blues faithful. The Trinidad and Tobago international helped Swansea on their way to teaching Town a very harsh lesson at the Liberty Stadium, as they romped to a 3-0 victory that year.

Nevertheless, things have now changed, and he looks to be a fine acquisition to a very hungry and determined looking squad of players. It didn’t take him long to make an impression either, scoring on his debut against Bristol City.

Talking of Bristol City, their manager Keith Millen has made a very shrewd signing in taking Jon Stead to Ashton Gate for a measly £225,000.

Admittedly, Stead was never the most prolific of goal scorers, but he did seem to have a habit of scoring at key times. His effort and enthusiasm endeared him greatly to the Ipswich supporters.

One area of the Town side that has improved drastically this season is the defence.

Tommy Smith has stepped up to the plate admirably in the absence of Damien Delaney, and has formed a formidable central defensive partnership with Gareth McAuley.

Mark Kennedy began the season at left-back, having joined the club from Cardiff in the summer, however he was unlucky to pick up a nasty looking injury on his first league appearance.

Town were quick to bring in a replacement however, and in Darren O’Dea they look to have unearthed a real gem. His solid tackling and aerial dominance meant that his debut against Crystal Palace was mightily impressive.

O’Dea is only on loan with the club, but has admitted that he would consider a permanent switch if all was to go to plan.

It would be a fair argument to suggest that Ipswich’s midfield is the strongest in the division this campaign.

The ‘Holy Trinity’ of Luke Hyam, David Norris and Grant Leadbitter really does seem to have clicked all of a sudden, with each of the players fulfilling what appears to be their preferred role.

That has shown in Norris’ goal tally of four already.

In attacking areas it does look as though this could be the season that Carlos Edwards and Tamas Priskin really begin to pay back their hefty transfer fees.

Priskin struggled last season, but this time around looks much more assured and confident in himself.

The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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