Ipswich Town column: New promotion carrot is now too good to pass up

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Paul Digby earned a fair few more Google searches as we clamoured to find out more about our first signing of 2016.

But whereas back in the days of Magilton/Keane/Jewell we would have cried: ‘Who?!’ Now here’s growing excitement another gem could be set to be gleaned up.

Our first look at the on-loan Barnsley defender or midfielder is a two-times winner of their Most Promising Academy player (2008, 2011) is likely to come when League Two Portsmouth come to town on Saturday (3pm) for what is hopefully only the first step of our 2016 FA Cup journey (and underestimate Pompey at our peril, in my opinion).

But while I like all this ‘our team costs a pittance, what did yours cost?’ (looking at you Middlesbrough, Derby, Hull fans/officials). I sincerely hope we do spend some money in this window.

Yes, the squad looks much healthier than this time last season, when we managed, in the end, to hang in the top six.

But do not tell me we could not improve it by spending on proven talent, as well as the unearthed stuff we have made our name on.

If there was ever a year to ‘go for it’ in terms of promotion (and I’m not advocating bankrupting the club) it’s surely now, with a carrot being dangled like we’ve never seen before in TV money. Does Evans want a bit of that? We’ll soon find out.

A battling 0-0 draw at Burnley showed we can still do the ugly stuff but special performances will require special players. And you can never have enough of those in your squad.

* Tomorrow’s tie sees a repeat of the 2008 stage where we fell at the same hurdle. But while it will conjure up images of Harry Redknapp’s side being pushed close on their way to winning it for you, for me it was my worst experience of witnessing football racism. The court story later came out showing they were banned. They will be back by now, and I hope their exile served to help them grow up.