Ipswich Town, along with Plymouth Argyle and Macclesfield Town, are one of only three sides in the football league who are yet to register a win in their opening 10 matches. The Tractor Boys, with goals from Jon Nolan and Matthew Pennington, were two goals ahead at half time at Birmingham City on Saturday.
However, under mounting pressure in the second half from the hosts, Ipswich surrendered the two-goal lead, with Lukas Jutkiewicz scoring twice to deny Paul Hurst a first win in charge of Ipswich.
Hurst, after guiding Shrewsbury Town to the League 1 play-off final last season against the odds, was appointed as Ipswich’s manager in the summer replacing the departing Mick McCarthy. Under McCarthy Ipswich reached the play-offs in 2014/15 and finished no lower than 16th in his six-years in charge at Portman Road.
Ipswich endured a busy summer in the transfer market recruiting players with limited experience in the Championship but with decent pedigree in Leagues One and Two. The likes of Kayden Jackson, Ellis Harrison, Jon Nolan, Gwoin Edwards, Jordan Graham, Tayo Edun, Matthew Pennington, Toto Nsiala and Trevor Chalobah all arrived as well as Jonathon Walters, who has since been ruled out for six months with an achilles injury.
The Tractor Boys also lost some key players from last season, with the likes of top scorer Martin Waghorn, Adam Webster, David McGoldrick and Joe Garner amongst those departing.
Given all the changes in management and the playing squad it was always likely to be a season of transition for Ipswich this season. It is therefore understandable that they have so far struggled to find their best starting eleven and system, which is a major reason they have yet to win so far.
Hurst, who has only really known success in his managerial career so far in spells at Grimsby Town and Shrewsbury, will be aware that results are still needed even when your side is in transition, and so far, those results have not been forthcoming.
However, there are some positives to take from Ipswich’s first ten games. Despite failing to win they have only lost four matches, drawing six and are only two points adrift of Hull City, who currently occupy the position just above the bottom three. Hurst’s side have largely been involved in tight matches so far and are unbeaten in their last three matches and have yet to lose at Portman Road.
If Ipswich can find a way to edge those tight matches, then they will start to pick up wins and climb the table, but the longer the winless run continues the more confidence will be lost, and harder it will be to register that vital win.