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Question Time: Ipswich Town

Wanderers are away to Ipswich this weekend, we have spoken with one of their supporters ahead of the game

Julian Finney

Before the game at Ipswich Town this weekend, Chris spoke with Joe Fairs, who has some interesting things to say about Ipswich, Bolton, Sam Allardyce and the Barry Knight incident:

1) How has the season gone so far for your boys?

The season has gone very well so far, while we finished 14th last year had the season started when Mick was appointed on 1st of November we would have been pushing for the play offs.

We have managed to take that form across, which with another huge overhaul of the squad required was beyond the realms of expectations of even the most optimistic ITFC fan.

I still think we'll end up dropping out of the play off zone and finishing in a comfortable mid table position - but after 3 consecutive seasons where we have been looking down rather than up it is huge progress.

2) Mick McCarthy was supposedly a candidate for the Bolton job before it was given to Freedman - are you happy with the man in charge?

Couldn't be happier.

While at times the football may not be as easy on the eye as some would like, gone are the embarrassing defeats and spineless defending which resulted in us losing by cricket scores on what felt like a regular basis.

The squad Mick inherited was woefully imbalanced, and full of ageing loanees and players out of contract, and within 12 months of taking charge he has managed to totally re-mould the squad with permanent additions, on sensible contracts while only spending £20k in the transfer market.

Make no mistake, we were going down to League 1 when McCarthy was appointed, we had 7 points from 13 games and had drawn 3 and lost 9 from the previous 12 games (including a cup exit at Carlisle).

To re-iterate, we only had 3 first team regulars that weren't either on loan or out of contract at the end of the season - to keep us up (relatively comfortably) from that position was a magnificent achievement, and that's before you look at the record high points total which was required to stay up.

I honestly believe he is the best manager in the Championship, and the players can't speak highly enough of him, if Bolton had appointed him instead of Freedman, I have no doubt you'd be much higher up the league at the moment.

3) Barry Knight - scumbag or Ipswich hero?

Neither really, he was just a ref that didn't allow us to be bullied out of the play offs for the 4th year in a row.

On paper I can see why Bolton fans were annoyed at the 2nd leg, with 3 penalties and 2 red cards, but in reality it was just desserts for the tactics employed on the night by Sam Allardyce.

Only one of the penalties was dodgy and at least 2 of the yellow cards could have been straight reds.

It's a shame really because Bolton had a good side then, the likes of Claus Jensen, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Alan Johnstone and Michael Johansen were all excellent footballers at this level and it should have been a good game - the game plan was clearly to try and kick us out of the game as had happened in previous years against Charlton and Sheffield United but Barry Knight stood up to the bullying tactics and didn't stand for it.

As is Allardyce's way he used this as an excuse for his failings but judging from how he adapted the team going forwards he realised that being tough AND playing football was the best way out of the division and subsequently achieved it.

I implore any Bolton fan to watch the full highlights of the game on YouTube and think that Barry Knight was as bad as Sam made out.

I think perceptions would have been very different if the game had been shown live on Sky, but Allardyce was happy to shift the blame and set the agenda going forwards for the Bolton fans.

4) Who should Bolton fans look out for?

Our 2 best players are David McGoldrick and Aaron Cresswell.

Cresswell is rated by many to be the best left back in the Championship, his play is very similar to Leighton Baines and he is a key attacking outlet for us.

He has a great cross and is the top assist maker in all 4 divisions. McGoldrick despite only being 26 seems as though he has been around forever, he has had a few poor spells but has been fantastic for Ipswich and is our best creative player and goalscorer.

He has scored numerous goals from outside the box and has a great strike on him, often shooting early and catching goalkeepers by surprise.

Most of our goals are scored or assisted by McGoldrick and Cresswell and if either are missing we tend to struggle to create.

5) What score do you think we can expect?

As with all our games it will be a tight, dogged affair decided by one goal - I'll be positive and predict a 2-1 victory!