Suggestions Roy Keane might have been sacked if Ipswich lost were cobblers, but the Tractor Boys hardly impressed in beating a Northampton side that offered far, far less than they had in beating Liverpool and Reading in the previous rounds.
Keane acknowledged as much when he again emphasised how his squad needs to be strengthened if it is to have a chance of competing with teams such as Cardiff City or Queens Park Rangers for promotion.
"We're miles away, and that's not doom and gloom, it's reality," Keane said. He added that he would be texting the club's owner, Marcus Evans, every night to persuade him to loosen the purse strings. In terms of loan deals, the West Brom reserve striker Ishmael Miller is in his thoughts, but as Keane pointed out, it can be hard to persuade Premier League players to move away from their homes to Suffolk for a couple of months.
Someone like Miller would certainly have made a difference last night. For all Ipswich dominated early possession but the visitors looked comfortable, and even took the lead when Liam Davis's shot from 25 yards took a slight deflection and caught the home goalkeeper, Brian Murphy, by surprise.
Ipswich responded well. Carlos Edwards connected with a rising drive from the right-hand side of the area that flew past Chris Dunn, and a minute before half-time Damien Delaney drove a loose ball from a corner into the top corner.
The first 30 minutes of the second half were played almost entirely in Northampton's half. That Ipswich created few chances was an indication of their travails, and there were nervous moments before Tamas Priskin made the game safe. Millwall on Saturday will ask more questions – as will Keane of Evans.
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