IPSWICH TOWN COLUMN + HIGHLIGHTS: Forget pretty football now we’re in the business end of the season

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  • Bruno Ecuele Manga’s 18th minute header gave Cardiff a 1-0 home win over Mick McCarthy’s side on Saturday to push them out to five points off the play-offs
  • A brace from birthday boy Daryl Murphy at home to Blackburn on Tuesday saw Town make the most of their game in hand to move back to one point off the top six
  • Following Tuesday’s win, Mick McCarthy announces the club are signing Bolton Wanderers winger Liam Feeney on an emergency loan until the end of the season
  • Second home game in a week at Portman Road sees Ipswich take on bottom three side Rotherham United on Saturday (3pm)
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Papering over the cracks or back on track for the top six?

I’m not always the most glass half-full person, as long-standing readers of my Keane and Jewell era columns would know.

But I’m still in the latter camp, as the top six is not going to shut us out for not playing well enough.

At the business end of the season it’s about points and no-one will remember you won 1-0 with a flukey goal off someone’s backside after looking second best for 90 minutes. It will just read: won 1-0.

The facts are that we’re one point off the coveted play-off places, despite injuries depriving us of our three most creative players.

If our manager did not have a plan we would not have just signed Liam Feeney (loan), Bolton’s most creative player, to fill the gap alongside Ben Pringle. And, even Mick’s doubters have to admit in Kevin Foley and Pringle he’s got things right for the short-term fix.

However, if we do end up missing out, it will be down to a stubbornness to balance the books ahead of taking a small financial gamble with investing in the asset that can change everything: the first-team squad.

Those that wrote us off again after the disappointing Cardiff defeat are now eating their words, ahead of a chance to climb back in the top six at home to relegation-threatened Rotherham on Saturday (3pm). And no, it’s not a good time to face a revitalised Neil Warnock side, but now Daryl Murphy has some goals under his belt, the same could be said about us.