STAYING up from this position would be an achievement on par with Ipswich Town's legendary success in 1978 and 1981. Discuss.

Certainly not my view, or something that had crossed my mind, but a web comment left on one of my stories last week.

To be honest, it's a notion that makes me feel uncomfortable and one that will undoubtedly provoke a reaction among supporters, especially those who experienced those halcyon days.

Comparing the current crop with Town's icons of yesteryear seems nonsensical. Championship basement boys versus a side that lit up English football, lifting the FA and UEFA Cups?

Madness, surely, and two eras in the club's history that can barely be mentioned in the same breath. Like comparing chalk and cheese.

That said, I understand the sentiment, in terms of attempting to quantify the size of the task facing Town's class of 2018/19.

Staying up from this position will take something special and a resurgence of epic proportions.

However, an outlook that was as bleak as the weather on Saturday afternoon now looks ever-so-slightly brighter after a hard-earned victory against Wigan Athletic.

Let's be honest.

It was a rotten game, settled by a scrappy, scruffy goal.

The conditions were abysmal (it took an age to thaw out) and even a troop of brass monkeys would have thought twice before having a kickabout in that biting wind and rain.

The bottom line is that Town won, though - astonishingly only their third victory at Portman Road in 2018.

As I wrote over the weekend, their home ground has been anything but a fortress this season – more a village inn with a cosy fire and free beer, where visitors feast on three points before setting off on their merry way.

How ironic, therefore, would it be if they could finish with back-to-back wins there, by seeing off Sheffield United on Saturday.

I genuinely believe there's fresh cause for optimism but, as everyone knows, it's about backing up improved performances with points.

Paul Lambert's record prior to the weekend was even worse than Paul Hurst's.

The latter took three points from his first six games (three draws) whereas Lambert's Town had lost four in a row after the draws against Preston and Reading.

Even so, the mood feels rejuvenated.

Players have a spring in their step - surprising, given their position in the table - and that will only have been enhanced by Saturday's success.

Crucially, the gap to safety is now five points.

Had it stayed at eight or been stretched further it could have been catastrophic.

Instead, Town have a chance to take another bite out of it over Christmas.

That would put fire in their belly for the new year and hopefully represent the start of a great escape - something that would be monumental and an achievement to be celebrated, but not likened to '78 or '81.