Town striker Jordan Roberts in action at Stoke Picture: Pagepix

FORGET the I’m a Celebrity final.

Scrap the Strictly semi and pot thoughts of last night’s UK Championship snooker showpiece in York.

For me, there was only one battle of note this weekend and that was the one raging between my ears.

In one corner, my heart. In the other, my head.

Let me put my cards on the table and explain the conundrum.

With regards to the former, I still believe Ipswich Town can dodge the dreaded drop into League One.

I still believe they have enough time to bridge the gap and enough quality (just) to reel in other sides and clamber to safety.

If I didn’t, what would be the point of the next four and a bit months?

It’s too early to concede defeat, to wave the white flag and write off a hopeless, lost cause.

Not with 25 games and 75 points at stake between now and May.

It’s a lifeline dangling by a thread, admittedly, but not game over or mission impossible as far as I’m concerned.

The belief remains that something will click.

That Town’s band of talented, fearless youngsters will resuscitate their side’s ailing campaign, spearheaded by emerging star Jack Lankester.


Jack Lankester is denied by Stoke keeper Jack Butland Picture: Pagepix

That one scrappy goal leads to a precious victory – which in turn leads to another and another – and that an experienced, match-winning gem or two is plucked from oblivion in January.

Especially now they have the right manager in place, without doubt, to sort through this mess and save the day.

Then the little voice in my head pipes up, reminding me of the obvious – that this notion is based on nothing but blind optimism.

Because if we’re brutally honest, every scrap of evidence - the cold, hard facts - point to one emphatic conclusion… relegation.

If it wasn’t so serious and alarming, it would be comical.

I’m telling myself the drop can be avoided and yet to all intents and purposes, the trapdoor is already ajar.

Town have only won one of their 21 fixtures, for goodness sake. A paltry 11 points from a possible 63.

They haven’t won at Portman Road yet, have lost seven of their last nine, including the last four, and haven’t put three points on the board since Paul Lambert arrived on October 27.

The most recent of those defeats – the latest in this most dismal of calendar years - came at Stoke City, on Saturday.

By all accounts, moments of Premier League quality were the difference but it sounds like a promising, encouraging (but ultimately fruitless) performance in the Potteries.

Crucially, the gap to safety is now eight points – effectively nine, if you take goal difference into account – and the only crumbs of comfort were defeats for Reading and Bolton Wanderers (albeit at Carrow Road).

That puts huge significance on Town’s next two games before Christmas, both at home, starting with Saturday’s visit of Wigan Athletic.

Then comes a tougher-looking date with third-placed Sheffield United, followed by a Boxing Day trip to another bottom-half side in QPR.

Nothing will be decided over the festive period, of course.

But if they don’t start putting points on the board soon, starting with something from these home matches, their prospects will be bleak at best.

As the little voice in my head will happily tell you.