Ipswich have made a fantastic start to life in League One under Paul Lambert. The Tractor Boys lie comfortably top of the pile, four points clear of Wycombe in second place having played a game less.
There is a feel-good atmosphere around the club that had vanished towards the end of Mick McCarthy’s reign, and that Paul Hurst failed to recapture as his side languished at the bottom of the Championship.
Considering the unbeaten start of eight wins and three draws, it is no surprise to see players performing to a high level across the pitch.
The towering Tomas Holy in goal has made a very solid start to life at Ipswich, keeping no less than seven clean sheets.
Of course, the defence has played a big part in that too, with captain Luke Chambers leading by example, and being very well supported by youngster Luke Woolfenden and new arrivals James Wilson, Luke Garbutt (loanee from Everton) and League One Player of the Month nominee Kane Vincent-Young.
Cole Skuse has had a very solid season after a disappointing campaign last term, and up front goals have been shared by the impressive Kayden Jackson and big summer signing from Tranmere, James Norwood.
However, perhaps the most consistent performer across the course of the season so far has been academy graduate Flynn Downes. The England U-20 international has been ever-present in the middle of the park alongside Skuse, crunching into tackles and having a big influence on games with his physical presence.
Although primarily a defensive midfielder, he has offered something going forward too, contributing a fantastic goal and assist, and it is this side of his game that has really improved since he made his debut under McCarthy.
Both Downes and fellow Ipswich youngster Andre Dozzell played for England U-20’s this week in a 2-2 draw against Italy, and it is fair to say that Downes has greatly outperformed his more highly-rated team-mate in a blue shirt this season.
Indeed, his performances have led to Skuse suggesting that the Suffolk side would struggle to keep hold of him for much longer, and that Town fans should enjoy his performances while they can.
It is certain, though, that Lambert will do everything he can to keep the 20-year-old in January, clearly admiring him as a footballer and well aware of how he crucial he has been to the team’s success this season. The Ipswich faithful will hope he succeeds in doing so!