Dougie Freedman admitted that although this weekend’s clash against Ipswich Town will be a testing one for his side, it is one which they are more than ready for.
Wanderers welcome the Tractor Boys to the Reebok Stadium on Saturday afternoon on the back of a 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday last weekend, with the manager adamant that a first home win of the season is imminent given his side’s performances of late.
“Mick McCarthy is a very good manager – Ipswich mugged us last year on two occasions where we performed very well,” said the Scot in his pre-match press conference.
“We just didn’t quite kill them off, so they took advantage of our lack of killer instinct. It will be a difficult match because they’re well organised, but something needs to change because we’re performing well.
“This division is very strange and close – as with us last season, if you go on a winning streak and get four or five results, it can take you from mid-table to top six.
“We’ve not started well, but with a few results like Ipswich we could find ourselves up at the top.”
With three draws on home soil so far, Freedman confessed that his players are desperate to secure maximum points in front of the club’s own supporters sooner rather than later and are more than up for the fight this weekend.
“You will get battles because that is what Championship football is all about,” he said.
“We need Championship players who understand what you need to do and still have that little bit of quality – it’s a division where you’ve got to have the intensity, the attitude and the quality and we’re starting to make sure that these things are in place.
“Looking at the Reading, QPR and Derby games at the Reebok, we’re not afraid to get on the ball and the lads are fully committed. If we keep on performing the way we are, things will change soon.”
Following the news of Adam Bogdan’s injury earlier in the week, the manager explained that he has every confidence in Andrew Lonergan to make his mark during the Hungarian’s absence.
“With Adam we’re looking at about six weeks which is a bitter blow for us, especially after Marc Tierney a couple of weeks ago,” he admitted. “It’s not one that I’ll take on the chin though - Andy Lonergan will come back in who is a very good goalkeeper and he’s got his opportunity.
He added: “Goalkeepers are slightly different to the rest of the squad in the sense that you want consistency in that area.
“Andy has got his chance, albeit not the way he would have wanted it through Adam’s injury, but he works hard, he’s desperate to play and if he takes his opportunity, players who are on form will play.”