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Club News


16 February 2013

The Town boss shares his matchday programme notes with the Club website

Welcome back to Portman Road for this afternoon’s game against Blackpool, as we look to get back on track after last week’s disappointing result at Blackburn.

There wasn’t much wrong with the performance at Ewood Park. I thought we were the better side until they scored in the second-half but goals change the course of a game.

The manner of their goal was galling though. We left a player unmarked from a corner and although the goal has been credited to Jordan Rhodes, it looked like an own goal to me – the ball hitting Hendo on the head and going in.

We had good chances to get level at the end but didn’t take them and that’s this league, small margins that make all the difference.

I don’t think there is a lot between top and bottom in the Championship. We went to Cardiff the other week and you would never have known there was 26 points between the clubs if you watched the 90 minutes.

The Championship is a tough league. It’s about scrapping away for every point and picking up those points wherever you can.

That’s what we have to do between now and the end of the season. We had a little run at the back end of 2012 when we picked up five wins from seven and that did open a little bit of daylight between us and the teams below.

Those teams below us have had their own little runs lately and now the league has tightened right up again but I can’t impact on what those clubs do. I’m not worried about the other results. I’m only looking at our results and performances.

Our target is and always has been since I arrived here, to get enough points to stay in this league. That might be 50 points or more this season but we’ve got to scrap and fight for every one to make sure we get there.

Blackpool arrive at Portman Road on the back of a good win against Millwall last week. Like a lot of the Championship clubs, they have had a change of manager this season – or two in their case with Ian Holloway and Michael Appleton deciding to take up offers at other clubs.

It’s not Blackpool’s fault that they have had a changeover of manager but that uncertainty at any club is never beneficial for a team. Players look for stability and continuity.

The clubs that have come down from the Premier League, Blackburn, Wolves and Bolton have all changed their manager at least once. Forest have had three managers. It seems the Championship is just more bonkers this season than normal!

We have let young Joe Whight go out on loan to Chelmsford. He needs to be playing first-team games for his development. You can only get so much from training and being coached. It’s important to get battle-hardened from playing first-team football.

I’d like to welcome the Blackpool staff and players to Portman Road this afternoon for what I’m sure will be another tough 90 minutes – as they always are.

It won’t be as surreal as the last game here though, against Middlesbrough. I watched that from my apartment in town. The Club streamed the game into my living room after I was a hit with a flu bug which really laid me low.

It was the first game I had missed in 20 years of management and I hope it’s the last.
TC and the players did a terrific job though and the 4-0 win certainly made me feel a bit better. 

I’m sure we’d all welcome a similar performance this afternoon and the three points. Enjoy the game.

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