Mike Bacon: Portman Road is going to be rocking on Saturday...and the Blues are going to win
PUBLISHED: 17:00 06 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:10 06 August 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
In his weekly look at life at Town, MIKE BACON suggests Town players and fans could be in for one hell of an atmosphere this weekend.
It's going to be rocking at Portman Road on Saturday. Absolutely bouncing.
I can feel it.
Pump up that PA, get that drum banging in the North Stand.
Come on Crazee, a couple of back flips with triple salchow in the centre circle, all the young mascots 'star-jumping' as the players come out, flags flying high, 'BLUE ARMY, BLUE ARMY'... the whole ground ramping it up!
I've got goosebumps just thinking of it.
I might even bring my inflatable Massey Ferguson, complete with extra thick tyres and large horn that I won at the Holbrook Summer Fete four years ago on one of those dart games where you have to score nothing with three darts - piece of cake for me - and let it bob about in the press box annoying everyone.
Yep, here we are, the second week of the season, Sunderland at home, and already the Blues are embroiled in a promotion six-pointer!!!
Who'd have thought a 0-1 win at Burton Albion could bring such pleasure to so many. Especially after Lambo's 'uplifting' presser last Friday.
I still can't work out what happened there, some perverse counter-psychology by the boss I reckon to make us feel so manically depressed that we would have seen a 0-3 defeat at Burton as a sort of victory. As it was, we won.
It's weird, because back in my cub scout days (where I won a plethora of badges by the way, including 'Home Safety', after I stuck my little brother's head down the toilet, before rescuing him and claiming glory), I used to be hacked off if Town drew at home to Liverpool.
Yet on Saturday night, I'm side-clicking my heels as I dance into the kitchen, whistling, 'Cheer Up Sleepy Jean'.
"Town won," I say to the wife, with that 'matter of fact' look on my face as though I've been saying it every weekend for the past three years...
"If it makes you happy dear," the default reply comes... But I don't care.
In fact I'd already decided I would treat myself to a large kebab, heavy on the chilli and three pints of San Miguel on Saturday night. Only thing missing was MOTD. Football, love it!
YEP, it's back - and Sunderland next up for Town.
The Blues are going to win.
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I don't care about being bullish. If football is 30% talent, 70% confidence (just making that stat up), the Blues' will have the full percentage confidence-wise.
Town have a decent home record against the Black Cats. They beat them 6-1 back in the 1959/60 season, because former EADT sports editor Tony Garnett told me.
Not that I remember, you understand.
It's just that we were playing golf one sunny afternoon at Woodbridge and he was 'schooling me' - four up with six to play.
I needed to put him off, so I bet him a fiver he couldn't remember if Town had ever beaten Sunderland at Portman Road by more than four goals (they were playing them that weekend!).
He took the bait, spent the next five holes thinking about it. His game went to pieces. I pounced, winning one up - and a tenner! I like golf.
I'LL tell you what though.
I do remember one fantastic Portman Road night when Sunderland came to Suffolk back in 1998.
'Rocking' doesn't even half describe how the stadium was that evening.
Even my bottle of Peroni and steak and kidney pie us journos used to enjoy in the ITFC press box before austerity hit hard there too, almost went flying when Town's two goals went in on their way to a dramatic victory.
It was a hell of a night, with just a few games left late in that First Division campaign.
George Burley's Blues were already assured a place in the play-offs, while the Mackems were gunning for automatic promotion.
Matt Holland opened the scoring, Alex Mathie missed a pen, before the Flying Scotsman netted a second.
Both ended up missing out on promotion after play-off heartache.
But that sensational night I still remember as one of the best atmospheres at Portman Road. And coming from someone lucky enough to watch Sir Bobby's Blue and White Army era from start to finish, that's an accolade.
Back to the present and in 2017 it was Town 5 Sunderland 2, as Mick McCarthy's team ran riot at Portman Road. What a night that was.
Yes, a McCarthy team scoring five goals! Disgraceful entertainment.
So, I'm bubbling with excitement about Saturday.
Beat Sunderland and well... I'll even start to dream of the FA Cup fourth round.... Whoops! Did I say fourth round, I meant second!
See you Saturday!