IPSWICH Town have weathered a storm this season.

Battered by the wind of change.

There has been thunder and lightning, most notably during the home matches against QPR, Bristol City, Millwall and Reading.

And there have been many days of incessant rain, flooding their dwindling hopes of Championship survival.

However, every cloud has a silver lining and I’m getting wind of a sea change.

There are chinks of light and while it might be rash to make bold forecasts, the leaden clouds are finally shifting.

Tuesday’s encouraging draw at Bristol City was another prime example, especially coming on the back of an impressive share of the spoils at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Battling, spirited Town rained on their parade (last weather pun, I promise), making two promotion-chasing sides look distinctly average.

Resigned to the drop, maybe, but certainly not going down without a fight.

Boss Paul Lambert still has his critics and in a recent comment piece I was accused of being “sucked in” and “clueless journalism” for singing his virtues.

But I defy anyone who witnessed Tuesday’s game not to have high hopes next season, presumably in League One.

Not arrogant, presumptuous or complacent but ambitious, excited and optimistic.

Lambert’s team selection reinforced that positivity, striking a balance between inevitable midweek changes and a glimpse into the future.

Josh Emmanuel, Toto Nsiala, Andre Dozzell and Kayden Jackson all started and Myles Kenlock retained his place in a side that featured just one loanee - Chelsea’s industrious Trevoh Chalobah.

The forward-thinking, mercurial Teddy Bishop was on the bench and so was keeper Harry Wright and the highly-rated Idris El Mizouni, who made his senior debut as a late substitute for Alan Judge.

Throw Jack Lankester and Flynn Downes into the mix and you have the nucleus of a dynamic, talented Blues squad.

Naturally, they’re far from the finished article.

There’s room for improvement and, as a team, Ipswich lacked cutting edge at Ashton Gate.

There were lapses in concentration and issues in both boxes.

As with all young players, maintaining a level of consistency will be the challenge but these are gems that can be polished.

Town have become hard to beat – progress, given their fragility this season.

Five 1-1 draws in six games are a stride in the right direction and it would have been six, had it not been for Moddou Barrow’s heartbreaking late winner for Reading.

Bartosz Bialkowski is back to his best, Alan Judge has been a hit (hopefully both will stay) and Jon Nolan and Gwion Edwards were industrious at The Hawthorns and Ashton Gate.

Now, clearly, Town need to finish strongly, starting with another encouraging performance against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

A resurgence has come too late to spare them this season.

League One is looming but how good would it be to go into the summer hiatus on a high, buoyant about the challenge ahead - on cloud nine and ready to take the division by storm, rather than under the weather and facing ripples of negativity from the start.