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13 April 2019

"That is the direction we are going in. They will need time for sure but the potential is there"

Welcome back to Portman Road for this afternoon’s game against Birmingham.

While we deservedly won at Bolton last weekend and the performance made it fairly comfortable, we didn’t do enough to get anything out of a very good Brentford team on Wednesday night.

It looked as though Collin Quaner had put us ahead when he lifted the ball over the ‘keeper. He did everything right but the ball hit the post and a minute later we were one down.

That 60 seconds in some ways summed up how it’s gone for us this season. If Collin’s shot had gone in, things might have been different. It was a big moment and they took the wind out of our sails with two quick goals after that.

I have to say the first-half was the most disappointing we have played in a long time though. We were a bit better in the second-half, Judgey had a chance late on but overall, I had no qualms with the result.

Flynn was unfortunate to slip for their second goal. That happens. It won’t be the last mistake he makes because that goes with being a footballer and Flynn is a very talented young player who I’m sure will go on to have a long career in the game.

What really pleased me was the reaction he showed after the goal. He didn’t hide away from the ball. He demanded it. That said a lot about his character, his bravery. I was delighted with him.

Flynn is one of a number of young players we have here and they will be a big part of the future of the Club. That is one of the reasons why there is so much to be positive about.

Football is a results business. I know that and the results have not been good enough this season. That’s why we are where we are but it’s important to look at the bigger picture. We’ve been playing well. We’ve got a great crop of our own young players coming through. 

That is the direction we are going in. They will need time for sure but the potential is there. We will only find out how good they are when they are given a chance - and they will get a chance.

We need the older heads around the team as well. That will be vital and Judgey signing a new contract is huge for the Club. You can see the quality he has got and the youngsters will learn from playing alongside him.

James Collins is another player the young ones will learn from. He’s been great on and off the pitch and we hope to have him back available today. He’s missed a few weeks with injury and playing him at Bolton and then again at Brentford would have been a big risk. Hopefully he will be okay today and James is among a number of players we will sit down and have a chat with about the future before the end of the season.

There will be changes to the squad in the summer. That’s natural in football. Players will leave, the loan players will go back and we will look to freshen things up.

We have a good idea of where we need to strengthen the squad and provide competition to the players we have here.

The squad is just part of it here though. There is a lot to be done. The training ground needs a look at; the stadium as well. We need to work closely in the community; we need to continue to engage with the supporters. The fanbase is another reason to be optimistic about the future. That support is just incredible.

It’s a long term strategy. It’s not going to happen in a puff of smoke. It’s going to take time but we have to start somewhere.

The signs are good. It could be exciting and sometimes you have to take a step back to go forwards.

Finally I’d like to welcome Garry Monk, his staff and the Birmingham players to Portman Road today.

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