There are some occasions when my back page simply writes itself.

Paul Jewell’s infamous post-match assessment at Burnley last year – “gutless, spineless, worse than a pub team” – is a case in point.

In 12 short days, there have been two equally brutal appraisals from Richie Wellens and Nigel Reo-Coker. The on-loan Leicester City midfielder spared no feelings when he questioned whether enough Town players cared about losing or even being a professional footballer after the 3-0 home loss to Sheffield Wednesday. Ouch.

I spoke to Wellens within 15 minutes of that particular horror show and his damning verdict was a headline-writer’s dream.

I had hoped the appointment of Mick McCarthy might have spared such dark days but on Tuesday night, in the freezing cold at Selhurst Park, I stood waiting for Reo-Coker following the shambolic 5-0 loss at Crystal Palace.

Having spoken to the articulate midfielder when he signed, I expected him to shoot from the hip – and once again he didn’t hold back.

In both cases, I never had to push the player. This was not a case of a journalist looking for an angle. These were just blunt opinions from experienced pros. 

It is telling that the opinionated duo have come into the dressing room from the outside and simply voiced what most fans were fearing. But they also need to be careful themselves.

No one can question Wellens’ will-to-win, this is a man who is clearly hurting having won just once in his six-game loan spell. You got the impression that he genuinely wants to see Ipswich succeed, even when, sooner rather than later, he returns to Leicester.

Reo-Coker was a slightly strange one. Like Wellens, he is clearly a fighter and a leader, on and off-the-pitch. But as he continues to search for full match fitness, his performances have not yet matched his quotes.

Interviewed in the heat of the moment, Reo-Coker appeared to point the finger a little too much when asked about his Palace post-match thoughts. 

“Embarrassing” and “schoolboy defending” were fair comment, but the line: “I haven’t come here to be made to look like a fool” suggested he was more concerned about Nigel Reo-Coker than Town’s fortunes in the coming weeks.

Most expect the former Aston Villa and West Ham man to be departing in January. He still has some way to go to win over fans – and potential suitors – before then.