Ipswich Town CEO Mark Ashton has urged the club’s supporters to create an atmosphere that will turn Portman Road into a fortress as they look to get promoted from League One this season.
The Tractor Boys are finally getting the hang of things this season after a slow start to the campaign which saw them not win any of their first six league matches and saw pressure ramped up on Paul Cook.
Their first victory came away at Lincoln City and then a week and a half later home fans were finally treated to some success with a 6-0 drubbing of lowly Doncaster Rovers.
And despite losing away at Accrington Stanley last week, Cook’s side made it back-to-back home wins against Shrewsbury Town this past weekend where the prolific Macauley Bonne netted the winner.
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A crowd of over 19,000 witnessed the win and Ashton, who arrived in the summer from Bristol City to oversee the mass squad overhaul that took place, has called upon the fanbase to help the players out.
“Seeing Portman Road under the lights with 18,000 fans was just incredible and again reminds me of the size of the opportunity that lies ahead for all of us,” Ashton wrote in the club’s matchday programme on Saturday, per the EADT.
“As ever, I make no apologies for repeating this… We can only do this together.
“I want to drive attendances at home, I want to build a Portman Road that we are all proud to come to and to build a Portman Road that is packed for every home game.”
“Winning isn’t something that comes easy, and winning isn’t something that just happens. If it did, we would all be superstars.
“Winning is earned and I’ve said to the staff and the players before, it starts with the little things.
“We need to make sure our home is a fortress on the pitch and is a home that our fans enjoy and can be proud of again.”
No-one expected Ipswich to be so far down the table at this stage of the season but the high turnover of players this summer has surely been a factor towards that.
They slowly seem to be finding their feet though and whilst a 2-1 win over Shrewsbury won’t jump off the paper at any neutrals, they were able to close it out comfortably which is not something that can be said of all their matches this season.
Ipswich have an advantage over many League One teams this season though off the pitch as they have a big fanbase that can only be matched or bettered by a few others, and their fans could potentially create an intimidating atmosphere for away players.
Whether that happens remains to be seen but Ashton is trying to rally the troops and we will see in the coming weeks if it has worked.