Marcus Evans writes in today's matchday programme
However, first and foremost, a big thanks to all of you for your wonderful support this season and for helping make Portman Road a fortress, with only three defeats this season in 22 Championship matches, a record that is equal to any club in the division.
I know from talking with the players how big an influence your support has been at critical times in matches. Your backing, aligned with an increase in season ticket sales for next year, is a huge positive for the Club .
As for the dynamic duo, Mick and Terry, as we all know they took over two and half years ago with us five points adrift at the bottom of the Championship.
The fact that we are within sight of the finishing line to reach the Play-Offs in such a short space of time is nothing short of miraculous and a testament to their ability to get the most out of young and experienced players alike .
The atmosphere at Portman Road is fantastic and the ethos Mick brings to the first-team has filtered down throughout the Club.
Whatever happens over the rest of the season it has been a year of progress. We have more points already than at any time since the Club last qualified for the Play-Offs back in the 2004/05 season.
We already have seven points more than we did last year, with two games to go. That’s another sign of the progress we have made over the last 12 months and
My main priorities over this summer, and in future years, is to support Mick by ensuring we keep our best players through being able to offer competitive terms, as well as the players being aware that they are part of a team with the realistic potential to move onwards and upwards in whatever league we find ourselves.
In addition, I will continue to ensure funds are available to offer similarly competitive terms for new players we bring into the Club.
If we add to this a vibrant Academy with players progressing into the first-team, we have over time, I believe, a recipe for greater success.
Transfer fees when needed will be paid, however activity in the transfer market in the Championship generally, not just from us, has been lower over the past few seasons with the introduction of Financial Fair Play and with many players choosing to run down contracts to get the best terms for themselves elsewhere.
It’s also worth noting that none of the four clubs that spent the most in transfer fees last summer are in the Play-Offs places and two of them have spent most of the season fighting relegation.
We will continue to be highly competitive in terms of wages and will strive to match up to market conditions.
Our Academy team has been working hard in the background to develop the future first-team players and we have some really good prospects at all age groups.
We continue to work towards Academy Category One status and despite the Premier League again revising the rules for achieving the status, we stay committed as ever to doing what is needed to join the Cat 1 clubs.
On the field, the supporters have new heroes this season in the likes of Teddy, Tyrone and Freddie, who have all contributed to the feeling of a club moving in the right direction.
They and all of the first-team players have helped to create many memorable moments from this season but top of the list for me personally are Noel scoring the last minute winner at Charlton and the ecstatic celebrations that followed from everyone on the bench; Cole scoring a thunderbolt against Cardiff to register his first goal in Town colours;
Richard putting the Watford hoodoo firmly to bed in the last minute at Vicarage Road and just about every time Daryl has scored, which has been pretty regularly this season!
It’s a little unfair to single any one out, as everyone has played their part and I’m sure you have your own memories which hopefully will be surpassed over the next few weeks as the season reaches its finale.
On a final note, thank you also to all the unsung heroes at the Club: the stewards; the backroom team; the matchday staff; the groundstaff; the office staff at Portman Road and Playford Road to name only a few. Without their loyal efforts, the Club ceases to function.
This afternoon’s game is as big as they come, hopefully to be followed by some even bigger ones! Let's cheer the boys over the finish line and recognise the season for the wonderful progress the team have achieved.
Enjoy the game and thanks again for your fantastic support this season.