Joe keeps his feet on the ground

By Derek Davis, Chief Football WriterWHILE everyone was floating home on a cloud of euphoria Blues' boss Joe Royle was keeping his players' feet firmly on the ground.

By Derek Davis,

Chief Football Writer

WHILE everyone was floating home on a cloud of euphoria Blues' boss Joe Royle was keeping his players' feet firmly on the ground.

There have already been plenty of twists and turns in a roller-coaster season, and just because his side walloped six past one of the stingiest defences around at the moment, it doesn't mean Town are strolling down the final straight of the promotion race.

Royle said: “Three more wins would put a lot of pressure on the top two as they have to play each other. I have a points tally in my mind of what I think will be enough but I'm not saying what it is.

“When we were five points clear we were accused of being a little bit patronising by thinking we were home and dry. That certainly wasn't the case and I never thought that nor did the players.

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“It's three points and no more than that. We didn't get carried away when we were six points clear, just like we weren't going to get relegated when we lost three on the trot.

“It was good for the confidence though that we got the result and the goals but now we have to look ahead to Tuesday and a sticky game at Cardiff.”

The Blues boss pulled a tactical rabbit out of a hat by using a wing-back system which matched Forest's style of play but dwarfed them in terms of execution.

He said: “Playing three men in the middle at the back worked well and scoring the first goal really lifted the pressure off everyone.

“When the first goal went in, you heard a lot of hissing as the pressure came out around the ground.

“Ipswich is quite unique inasmuch as performances are as important as three points, so it was nice to get both.

“It is a massive confidence boost but I am not getting carried away. I do not want to go over the top, but the way that we played and kept the ball was very impressive. There were so many good things from that game.”

“We were terrific today and we needed that. There were some outstanding performances out there, Tommy gave his best display in my time here while Westy (Ian Westlake) was excellent, as were Darren Bent and Shefki Kuqi.

“It was a great all-round performance and only Kelvin really wasn't a candidate for man-of-the-match and that's nice from our point of view that our keeper was quiet.

“I don't want to go over the top but that was a big show for us. We were excellent.”

Royle was also in magnanimous mood towards his stunned counterpart Gary Megson.

He said: “I feel for Gary but I still feel Forest will stay up. No one would have lived with us in this mood.”

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