It’s carnival time for Warnock

IPSWICH TOWN: Queens Park Rangers come to Portman Road tonight (kick-off 3pm) equal top of the table, but with manager Neil Warnock warning that there is a tough road ahead.

Warnock used his vast managerial experience in the dressing room at the interval to inspire his side to a 3-0 home victory over Middlesbrough at the weekend after a goalless opening half.

But he is not getting carried away at the current success with his side sharing top spot with Cardiff City – Town’s opponents at Portman Road on Saturday.

“It’s a great time at the minute,” said Warnock.

“Like a carnival or coming to a funfair, but the thing about football is that we also know that around the corner, you’re going to get kicked in the teeth.

“It’s all about keeping level headed and getting on with it.

“Football is like life. Everybody has good days and bad days and good weeks and bad weeks and you’ve got to really enjoy it while it’s going well.

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“To get a kick in the teeth is not the end of the world. It’s how we respond when we get a kick in the teeth.

“The lads took on board what I said at the interval and I was delighted with that.

“It wasn’t the 100 per cent Warnock. It was one of those constructive few words. You couldn’t wish for better players than the young lads we have, but Clint Hill and Shaun Derry have given us something we didn’t have and they are just as important as Adel Taarabt and Hogan Ephraim because we need a mixture in the recipe.

“We are also going to need the extra players we’ve brought in like Rob Hulse and Tommy Smith. We’re going to need a squad. That’s vital.”

Former West Ham player Ephrain, who was once on loan at Colchester United, is happy with life at Loftus Road.

And he said: “It’s a lot more stable here now. We’ve made a lot of changes but this manager is here to stay, and he’s brought a lot of good characters into the team.

“It’s simple really. He took us back to basics and likes to play attractive football as well.

“People have a different perception of his style, but the football we’re playing and the goals we’re scoring speaks for itself. It’s a good mix we’ve got now and I’m confident we can keep this run going.’’

Warnock yesterday snapped up Tottenham youngster Kyle Walker on a one-month loan deal and the full back could make his Rangers debut tonight.

PORTSMOUTH have been handed a huge boost with news midfielder Aaron Mokoena did not suffer a broken leg against Ipswich on Saturday.

The South Africa international was carried off on a stretcher and taken to hospital, but scans have shown he escaped serious injury.

Pompey boss Steve Cotterill said: “It’s a big relief that Aaron’s okay. It looks doubtful that Aaron will be available for tonight’s game at Crystal Palace, but you never know.”

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