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MANAGER'S VIEW FOREST

27 November 2012

Town boss Mick McCarthy shares his matchday programme column ahead of the game with Forest

Welcome back to Portman Road for tonight's game against Nottingham Forest, who come to us on the back of an impressive result at the weekend.

Steve McCall watched them at Wolves on Saturday and when I asked him what he thought, he didn't dress it up! Very good was his answer so we know it's going to be a tough one but we will be ready for it.

We gave ourselves an uphill climb against Peterborough on Saturday after conceding another bad goal early on. We were rightly booed off at half-time. I had no problem with that. We never got going and struggled to pass the ball.

The second-half was much better though. We played some decent, controlled football and the confidence started to grow. The fans were great again and got right behind the team and we need more of that fantastic support from you again tonight.

The penalty looked a stonewaller to me. We've been on at Lee Martin to take players on because he's good at it and in doing so, he got the penalty for us.

Hendo (Stephen Henderson) - who perhaps was thinking he might miss out after the Leicester game - was great for us. He made one or two big saves when we needed it and I was pleased for him. Overall I was pleased with the shape and organisation of the team and we didn't concede another goal when so often this season that has been the case.

Michael Chopra had a good hour as well. He linked up the play so there were positives to take from the game, certainly from the second-half performance.

Unfortunately, Nigel Reo-Coker picked up a hamstring injury and he could be out for a couple of weeks. I don't normally like ruling players out straightaway but thankfully it's not as bad as we first feared.

Nigel is with us into January on a short term contract. We have a number of loan players that are also here until the turn of the year and that situation is obviously not ideal, but it's something we have to manage as best as possible.

We are building a picture of what we need here and are constantly looking at and talking about the squad. I'm already speaking to managers with January in mind but I know what they are going to say. It's the usual stuff. Come back nearer the time when they have a better idea of whether they are going to get their own targets.

We also have to be aware that some of our loanees might want to go back to their clubs so we might have to replace them, as well as looking to add to the squad.

It's not ideal and being at the wrong end of the table obviously makes it more difficult to sell what you are trying to achieve here to a player as well. Selling Ipswich as a football club is a different matter. It's talked about in glowing terms by people who know the Club, who have come here. The area, the supporters. People can't praise it enough and I've seen that myself in the short time I've been here.

While a new manager coming in brings changes to the playing squad, it's the way it is in football that there are similar changes to the backroom staff and that's been the case here with Sean McCarthy moving on.

Sean has been brilliant for me and Terry since we've been here and helped us settle in but I don't need another coach - and I also want to bring my own staff in as well - so Sean has left the Club. He is a football man, he understands how it works. There is no animosity at all in his departure and he goes with my best wishes for the future.

Ian Evans and Dave Bowman, who I have worked with for many years in the past, will be joining me here on the scouting side. They are people I trust. They know the type of players I want to work with.

Finally I'd like to welcome Sean O'Driscoll, his staff and the Forest players to Portman Road tonight. Sean did a terrific job at Doncaster and then was part of Steve Cotterill's staff at Forest last season.

That would have given him an insight into the club when he went back there in the summer and he's added some shrewd signings since, players that know all about the Championship.

He's got them going in the right direction but we will be relishing the challenge. As always, the fans have got a part to play. Keep that terrific support going. Enjoy the game.


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