Happy New Year and welcome back to Portman Road for this afternoon’s game against Brighton.
Gus Poyet’s side are one of many with Play-Off ambitions so we know it will be a difficult game for us but we are making progress and certainly there is a lot more confidence in the team than when I first arrived.
That obviously comes with results and looking back on the games since I took over, apart from Palace and Leicester, when we were well beaten, we could have won more than we have done, and we’ve won a fair few.
There is such a small dividing line in the Championship and that’s why you get the results you do in this division. We have seen that ourselves recently. We went to Leeds when they were on a roll and could have won. They scored their second goal when we were on top.
Against Charlton in the first-half on Boxing Day, we were in control of the game. We were creating chances and missed a penalty but against the run of play, they had a free-kick that Hendo tipped onto the post. If that had gone in, it would have changed the whole course of the game.
Cardiff are a good team, as are Palace. Leicester are strong but it’s so tight from top to bottom and it’s going to be a scrap for all of us until the end of the season.
I was back at Wolves on Saturday for the first time since leaving the club in February. I had six and a half good years there and it was nice to see so many familiar faces.
TC was there for many years as well and took over as manager after I left. I know it didn’t work out results wise for him but I think he is better for the experience. It gave him an idea of why, on occasions, I wasn’t on the training pitch at 10am when he was ready to start training!
I’ve been a manager for 20 years now and the role has evolved in that time. The winning and losing is still the same but the way you go about it has changed.
There are so many factors to go with the job and it’s important that you have good people, like TC, around you to make things happen. I know that I will get the straight answer from Terry if I ask him a question. It might not be the answer I want to hear but it’s the right one because it’s an honest one.
With January now here, the transfer window is open and we will be hoping to add to our squad over the next month. We have our targets. We’ve had them for a while but unless you have wads of money and are prepared to pay way over the odds for a player, it’s unlikely that clubs in the Premier League will let players go at the start of the month. It’s a waiting game.
DJ Campbell is obviously a player that I’d like to keep here but he’s not our player. I know he’s enjoyed his football here. He’s a good player and a good person as well. He’s great to have around the place and we will do all we can to work something out but ultimately, it’s out of our hands.
It’s the same with the other loan players we have here who are due to go back to their clubs over the next few weeks. We will see how things work out.
We’ve let Billy Mohsni go back to Southend. He’s a lovely guy and has got some good attributes but he simply wasn’t going to get in my team. He goes with our best wishes.
Finally, I’d like to wish Gus, his staff and the Brighton players a happy New Year but let’s hope it’s us that kicks off 2013 on a winning note. Enjoy the game and thanks for your support as always.