Ipswich Town winger Wes Burns believes the League One side can still win the title this season despite their poor start, speaking to BBC Radio Suffolk after their EFL Trophy loss on Tuesday evening.
Although their 2-1 defeat against West Ham’s Under-23s team in midweek would have been a major blow to their morale, it’s their third-tier form that is proving to be most costly in their bid to return to the Championship, failing to win a single league game so far this season and winning just three points from a possible 18.
After recruiting 19 players in the summer, many of whom are arguably Championship-quality players, they are now starting to fall way behind their promotion rivals as they sit in the League One relegation zone.
Paul Cook’s side face two tough games in the next couple of weeks, facing last season’s play-off finalists Lincoln City on Saturday afternoon before taking on recently-relegated team Sheffield Wednesday the following week, although they do have the home advantage over the latter.
Whether that proves to be advantageous to the Tractor Boys remains to be seen after losing 5-2 to Bolton Wanderers at Portman Road on Saturday afternoon – but their current predicament is clear and manager Cook is in real danger of the sack unless he can turn his side’s fortunes around.
The Suffolk side’s winger Wes Burns is slightly more optimistic, saying he believes Ipswich can still go on to win the league this season and also making another bold statement in his interview with BBC Radio Suffolk.
“The calibre of player we’ve got here… it’s probably one of the best squads that I’ve ever been part of. I think it’s probably one of the best squads that League One has ever seen.
“So it is just a case of sticking with us. Hopefully the supporters don’t turn on us too quickly.”
How long Paul Cooks gets to put things right will probably depend on the state of Ipswich Town’s finances.
Because if the noises from Mark Ashton regarding new arrivals taking pay cuts translate to the balance sheet, there’s every chance the Ipswich board will give Cook at least one or two seasons to make his mark on a new-look side.
But if they believe they can poach a high-quality manager from elsewhere to do a better job than the 54-year-old and their financial health depends on promotion this term, then you have to say there’s a real chance he will go in the next few games if they continue their winless run.
Let’s not forget there are four relegation spots in League One and after their summer of spending, despite their clearout throughout the summer, this would be a financial disaster for them.
However, if or when things start to click, things could start to get exciting at Portman Road. But whether they would be able to break into the top six is uncertain, especially with how competitive the third tier looks.
Not only are the likes of Sunderland, Wigan Athletic and Portsmouth likely to be up there, but also Bolton Wanderers who are looking brilliant despite only just being promoted from League Two.
Wes Burns needs to back up his words with action now, because they won’t be ‘one of the best squads that League One has ever seen’ until they jell together.Internet Explorer Channel Network