IPSWICH Town's much-lauded Blue Action supporters' group has ambitious plans that will "turn heads" next season.

The group was praised for helping generate a much-improved atmosphere at Portman Road last term, despite the team's struggles and ultimate relegation to League One.

While their side plummeted, the noise levels inside the ground rose with many saying it was reminiscent of much fonder times backing the Blues.

The Blue Action group deserves much of the credit, for encouraging singing but also arranging flag and banner displays.

And Max Helm, one of the founder members, says it has been a memorable year - off the pitch, rather than on it - with high hopes for the 2019/20 campaign.

"We'll continue to sing for 90 minutes, be fully positive, keep introducing new songs and making displays," he told the Gazette.

"We’re very ambitious and I don’t mind saying we want to be recognised as one of the best groups in the land, even gaining a reputation among more established groups abroad.

"We’ve already got something lined up for next season that will certainly turn heads.

"Overall, season tickets have sold well and I think there’s more of a defiant atmosphere around the club.

"Fans are getting tired of Ipswich being seen as a decaying club who have just made up the numbers for the last ten years.

"I hope the management and owner feel that way as well. They’ve certainly been making the right noises.

"Everything is a cycle of death and rebirth and, although it’s not been pleasant to experience, I do actually think the relegation was necessary.

"I really wouldn’t want to speculate on how we’ll get on next year although we’re a surprisingly settled squad, with some seriously talented youngsters coming through and history favours relegated clubs to make a swift return.

"Priority number one for Blue Action is to continue to make Portman Road an exciting place to watch football.

"We can’t control what happens on the pitch, after all – only how we react to it."

Helm admits Blue Action was born out of a sense of frustration at what had become a "flat, apathetic, and often hostile atmosphere" at Portman Road.

Town fans became increasingly disenchanted with former boss Mick McCarthy.

It led to bad feeling and a disconnection between supporters and their manager but that damage has been largely repaired since Paul Lambert's arrival.

The support and goodwill towards the current boss and players was certainly not befitting a team that languished and ended up being relegated.

"Our group started out quite simply, really," said Helm.

"I was getting increasingly frustrated with the flat, apathetic and often hostile atmosphere at Portman Road, specifically in the last couple of years of McCarthy’s tenure.

"I posted in a forum saying I was keen to get a dedicated supporters’ group started, with the sole purpose of singing for Ipswich for the full 90 minutes, being positive and adding colour and vibrancy in the form of banners and displays.

"I got the usual smattering of patronising responses but one lad, Rich, messaged me directly saying he’d been thinking of doing the same thing.

"And that was that, really.

"We both had similar tastes and a similar idea of what a supporters’ group should look like, so hit it off immediately.

"As it stands, there are about 15 full members but dozens more in section six of the Sir Bobby Robson Lower stand, where we’re based, who get involved as and when.

"The age range runs the full gamut really, from teenagers to old heads in their 50s and 60s."

The idea to launch a group quickly grew legs and ran.

"We couldn't have asked for a better start, especially considering the season Ipswich had," said Helm, 35.

"I’m honestly not that surprised, though.

"Ipswich have some fantastic supporters that I think had got themselves trapped in a negative mindset and needed something to fall in behind.

"What we were doing wasn’t revolutionary, after all.

"Singing at football is standard, but we just go at it all game.

"We refused to sing anything negative and we’ve brought in about four or five new chants. People are appreciative of the variety.

"I suppose the only majorly different thing we’ve introduced are the European ‘ultra’ style displays.

"People weren’t too keen on them at first but when they saw what kind of visual impact they had, they were far more accommodating with future ones.

"Ultimately, when people saw how dedicated we were and, frankly, how much more fun it was when there was a group of lads going nuts for 90 minutes, rather than just standing around in silence staring at their phones, or booing, or jeering the players, they quickly got on board."