Ipswich follow old route of no return
Portman Road will stage an England international for the first time this week. Ipswich, though, are going over old ground with their faltering start to the season.
Defeat at Crewe, although harsh given the volume of second-half attacking and chances, means that Joe Royle's men have one point and one goal from two league matches.
The pressure will be on them to beat Coventry next weekend to prove they can end the similarity with the late summer and autumn of 2002 - a low period for the club that ended George Burley's eight-year reign.
"We're going through a bit of a famine," Royle said. "We had our chances and couldn't put the ball in the net. But we were getting back towards our best in the second half. There's no way we deserved to lose."
It says much about Crewe's rearguard action over the final 40 minutes that their goalkeeper Clayton Ince was man of the match. He saved well from Darren Bent twice, Fabian Wilnis and Marcus Bent and, when he was beaten, David Wright, Chris McCready and the crossbar, from Richard Naylor's header, came to his rescue.
But the newly promoted home side won it during one of several bursts of counter-attacking with Kenny Lunt, a Lilleshall contemporary of Michael Owen, curling in a terrific free-kick from 25 yards.
And Crewe showed enough during their first-half dominance to indicate they should survive comfortably at this level during their 21st year under Dario Gradi. English football's longest-serving manager has this summer sold Rob Hulse to West Bromwich Albion and the turn-out of scouts on Saturday suggests he might soon be fielding more inquiries.
David Instone (The Guardian)