Last Tuesday night I sat through a freezing cold 4:0 defeat at Burnley and it was gutting.
I spent the whole drive home in deep thought, trying to make sense of what is going wrong with my beloved Ipswich. I came to the conclusion that the most significant contributing factor to the 6 straight defeats was a lack of confidence.
When Burnley's first goal went in the players' shoulders visibly dropped, after a good starting ten minutes or so they were completely deflated... and you just sensed the ball would be plucked from our own net a few more times that night.
Meanwhile, the online forums filled with calls for Paul Jewell's head and frustrated fans bemoaning the terrible performance from his players. Rightly so, in the case of the latter. But my concern became that in times like this it is so easy to shout about what is wrong with the world: when really a little bit of support could go a long way.
So I decided to write a letter to let Jewell and the boys know that there are some fans out here who have resolved to keep the faith. We hope and pray that this will be the start of something big, but win lose, or draw we will be behind them.
The letter was not meant to be a balanced view of what they are doing right or wrong, it was meant to be a signal of hope: here's hoping it might make the difference tomorrow.
Thank you to everyone who wrote to me asking to be involved - you are all truly wonderful fans.
A letter to Paul Jewell and the Ipswich Town team:
From your most loyal of fans.
The recent run of defeats at Ipswich has lead to a lot of complaints from Town fans (perhaps deservedly so). But we're writing today to let you know that the Blue Army is still behind you. And we always will be.
It can be easy for the disgruntled voices to become the loudest voices at times like this, so this letter is an attempt to balance those out and show you there are still some wonderful fans that are worth fighting for.
Nothing will ever make us forget the trip to Peterborough in August. Having enjoyed the build up to the 2011/2012 season, it is impossible to describe how much it hurt to see the team we love lose 7:1. But, do you remember those fans that waited to applaud you at the end? That was us. We wanted to show you that we believed there was so much more to see from you.
A statement we all still stand by today, despite the recent run of defeats. When we watched you play against Coventry, Middlesbrough, West Ham and Brighton, that was the team we'd dreamt of seeing all summer. And we have undoubting faith that you can be that team again.
For when you joined Ipswich Town you joined an amazing club with some wonderful fans, they really are both things to be proud of. The history of this club is what makes it so special, now it's time for you to become a part of it.
From the wins in Europe before I was even born, to winning promotion through the Play Offs at Wembley, through to that first year in the Premier League where we finishing 5th and then travelling to the San Siro the next season. Even up to results as recent as that Carling Cup win over Arsenal last year and the 6:0 annihilation of Doncaster Rovers: this club has provided us with the most wonderful of memories and for that reason we support you through the good times but, more importantly, we'll back you through the bad.
For we have total faith that you will one day be adding to those precious memories, please have faith in yourselves too and turn things around for us.
This was always be going to be a very difficult year, I'm not naïve enough to ignore the league position, terrible current form and difficult run of fixtures we are about to come up against. But, just as Mr Jewell has said the fans lifted the team against Brighton: I believe the fans have a huge part to play to help you through this year. So this letter is to let you know that we are doing just that.
Every time I go to a game, I am in awe the wonderful people I get to spend my time with. Be it on my own to Bristol just to catch a first glimpse at the new signings. Be it by coach from Newmarket with my Dad, who's supported Town for over 50 years (despite my Grandad being a Norwich fan!). Or, be it on a cold Tuesday night in Burnley where hundreds of Town fans battled through traffic on the A1 to show their support for you, despite dreading yet another defeat.
These fans never fail to amaze me: they're so full of positivity, so kind to one another and most of all they love their club more than anything else in the world.
You are all a part of that now: please remember this every time you step on to the pitch. We are the Blue Army forever and always.
In Jewell and our boys we trust.
The fans of Ipswich Town Football Club
Simon Cox, Cape Town
‘Forever and always ITFC’
‘Tell them I will give them a four second hug of reassurance each’
‘I have total belief the boys can turn this around’
‘Paul Jewell’s Blue and White army’
‘I am still right behind PJ and the lads’
Leigh Whatling ‘Bobby Robson didn’t start too well; but we stick with him and look what happened!’
‘Jewell is the man with the credentials to build this team over the next few years’
‘Keep going boys, we’ll be there through the good and the bad’
‘Jewell will get it right’
Matt Harrison ‘Keep the faith’