IN seven days time, Ipswich Town could start against Coventry City with a bench containing Ivar Ingimarsson, Lee Bowyer, Grant Leadbitter and one of Daryl Murphy or Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.

The likes of Mark Kennedy and Damien Delaney might not even make the 16-man squad for the visit of the Sky Blues.

That is impressive squad depth by any Championship club's standards.

But it won't happen unless Paul Jewell makes some tough choices ahead of the Sky cameras putting the spotlight on Ipswich once again.

For 45 minutes against Blackpool on Saturday, Town more than matched a side that were wrestling with Manchester United and Chelsea just a few short months ago.

Then Gary Taylor-Fletcher stroked home a rather fortutious goal - from what the BBC laughably described as an assist from Billy Clarke when the ex-Blue was clearly going for goal.

But how it came about mattered not. How the men in blue reacted to going behind was a different matter.

It's not good enough for Jewell to simply say his side lacks a winning mentality. The team that started at Bloomfield Road included nine players bought in during the summer and four who didn't play any part in the London Road horror show.

And the reason PJ brought in such experienced characters was surely to have the right men on the pitch for when the going gets tough. Instead, Town seemed to give up the ghost and though Daryl Murphy wasted three half-decent chances after Barry Ferguson had made it 2-0, Ipswich probably got all what they deserved from their trip to the seaside.

For the Coventry match at least, I don't think Jewell has any other choice but to go back to what he knows. Start with a 4-4-2 formation and pick players based on form.

That means Jimmy Bullard and Keith Andrews in the middle, Carson and probably Murphy on the wings (unless a new loan signing can be acquired this week) and Jason Scotland and Michael Chopra upfront.

Leadbitter manfully attempted to play the right midfield spot after being shunted out there on Saturday but his performances thus far simply do not merit a start next Monday night.

Right, moan over. There were some positives from Saturday. Danny Collins had a very impressive debut - even if Town's best three players at the moment are currently all loans (David Stockdale,  Andrews and now Collins).

And for 45 minutes, there was some bright football. Carlos Edwards seemed back to his old self and the defence looked a lot more solid (though less so after the interval).

There are too many players not yet match fit - step forward Bowyer, Bullard, Murphy, Ibrahima Sonko and Ingimarsson - but one has to hope they will benefit from another week on the training ground.

As I waited to interview the man-mountain, but softly-spoken, Sonko after the match (see today's Evening Star for his thoughts), a rainbow could be seen over one of the stands of the much-improved Bloomfield Road.

But despite the optimism that remains among the vast majority of fans, that sought-after pot of Premiership gold remains very much in the distance.

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