MATCH PREVIEW: Ipswich Town can’t afford to take their foot off the gas at Nottingham Forest, warns Mick McCarthy
- Credit: Archant
Forest v Ipswich: NOW is not the time to take the foot off the gas.
That’s is Mick McCarthy’s message to his Ipswich Town players heading into tonight’s match at Nottingham Forest.
Saturday’s 1-0 home win over Leicester City may have eased the pressure, opening up a six-point gap to the Championship relegation zone and potentially putting Town one win away from the top half of the table.
However, the Blues boss knows his side still have a lot of work to do over the remaining 11 matches.
“We continue to need points,” he said. “I’ve just said to the players this morning; the sun’s shining, we’ve had a nice win, you’ll have your sunroofs open driving in, t-shirts rather than big jackets and it just starts to get a nice feel.
“And the suddenly – whallop! – you can be right back on the edge of that precipice for the drop.
“You can’t take your eye off things for one moment. If we lose and the others all win, then all of a sudden you start panicking again.
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“Let’s just keep that calm. It’s about doing the same things, at the same intensity, right until May the fourth.
“If we do that then we’ve got every chance of being okay. It’s far from guaranteed though.”
Nottingham Forest have had a turbulent campaign off the pitch, but it could still have a happy ending.
Sean O’Driscoll was controversially sacked by the club’s Kuwaiti owners following a 4-2 Boxing Day win over Leeds. In came Alex McLeish, but he walked away after 40 days in charge – winning just one of his seven games in charge – citing a ‘difference of understanding of the development strategy’.
The return of fans’ favourite Billy Davies to the Forest hot-seat has provided an upturn in fortunes though, with the East Midlands club back to within four points of the top six
“They’ve been excellent,” said McCarthy. “I bet if Billy looked back he’s actually inherited a better squad of players now than the one he left a few years ago.
“He’s got a personality Billy – his personality is bigger than him to be fair! He’ll be up on the touchline giving his two-penneth’ and no doubt I’ll be giving mine. We’ll have words on the sideline, but he’s one of those good characters who you can go and have a drink with afterwards.
“His teams are competitive; they play good football, he’s always been at the promotion end of the league with Preston and Forest.
“And in this league, if you turn up and have an off day, and the opposition are playing well, then you can get found out very quickly.”
– For live match updates from The City Ground, follow @Stuart_Watson and @chrisbramms on Twitter.