Mick shares his matchday programme column ahead of the game against the Robins
Finally, I’d like to wish you all a happy Christmas. Enjoy the game - and the festivities - and keep up that terrific support.
I’d like to welcome Derek McInnes, his staff and the players of Bristol City to Portman Road. They are one place and five points behind us in the table and will be keen to cut that gap this afternoon . We have to make sure that doesn’t happen.
We are keen to add to the squad in January and in an ideal world you’ve have players in on the first day of the month but it never works like that. You may get one sorted out early but especially when you are dealing with the Premier League clubs, it will be case of wait and see. They will look to make sure they are secure first before they consider letting anyone go and that often means waiting until the end of the month.
Any talk of Tyrone coming back here has obviously been put on hold until he is fit but with the January transfer window around the corner and a number of our loans due up in that time, it could be a busy month.
I was pleased with the way he was playing so it’s obviously a blow for us that we have lost him. It’s not ideal for Peterborough either but most importantly it’s a big disappointment for the player. We wish him a quick recovery.
While one Tyrone has come in, another has left. Tyrone Barnett has gone back to Peterborough after damaging his cruciate ligament in that Nike game. He looks like he will be out for three months.
He’s 6ft 3in, he’s quick, loves a tackle and although he’s only 19, he is a good talker and organiser. There is a lot to work with and we have given him an opportunity here. He has signed an 18 month contract and it will be great if it works out for him and us.
Russell Osman and Steve McCall brought him to the Club so that we could have a look at him in a friendly against Nike Academy and he did well.
We took Tyrone Mings with us to Leeds last week after he joined the Club from Chippenham a few days earlier.
I came away from Elland Road very disappointed we didn’t take something from the game but we have certainly made progress as a team over recent weeks. It was our first defeat in five games and like I said, the challenge now is to get another run going.
Even then we had chances to have got back in the game. Chops had a great chance late on. There is no one you would want more in the situation he was in but their ‘keeper did well and it wasn’t to be.
There was nothing between the sides until we didn’t defend properly at a corner and let them in for the opening goal. In the second-half we were on top. Their fans were getting on to their players, their bench was getting animated. We were in the ascendency, then they caught us on the break for what was a terrific finish for the second goal.
Anyone looking at that 2-0 scoreline in the newspaper on the following morning, who wasn’t at the game, would have thought it was a routine win for Leeds but it certainly wasn’t that.
We go into the holiday period looking to put another run together that we had going before the defeat at Leeds last weekend.
Yes we will be training Christmas morning, then we will all be rushing home to have dinner with our families. And we will be travelling Christmas Day for the Charlton game and staying in a hotel overnight but that’s what you do in football and we get paid well enough to compensate for it.
People talk about winter breaks in the game but I wouldn’t change a thing. The tradition of playing over Christmas and New Year is special. You get bigger crowds, you get exciting games. It’s a fantastic time.
It’s always a busy schedule at Christmas – an important one as well with so many points at stake – but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Welcome back to Portman Road for this afternoon’s game against Bristol City in what will be the first of four matches in 10 days for us.