Nottingham Forest will be looking to get back to winning ways in the Championship as they take on Ipswich Town this weekend.
Having been defeated against Aston Villa, the Reds need to secure three points to realistically keep their play-off hopes alive. It would be a tough ask to get into the top six if they are unable to do so.
The Reds are now three points off the play-offs following their most recent setback. They now have Preston North End, Villa and Bristol City between themselves and the play-off positions. Middlesbrough and Derby County currently occupy the final two spots.
If Ipswich’s last two performances are anything to go by, then it isn’t going to be an easy game for Martin O’Neill’s side.
Even though the Reds have mainly been competitive away from home under O’Neill, they are still yet to pick up three points. They were unlucky not do so against West Bromwich Albion and Preston in particular.
Ahead of tomorrow’s game, Seat Pitch has taken a look at three players that the Reds will have to deal with if they are to secure the three points.
There’s no doubt that Teddy Bishop has always been highly-rated at Portman Road. However, the 22-year-old midfielder’s progress has been halted by numerous injury problems.
Fortunately for him, he’s enjoying a run of consecutive games at the moment. He’s featured in Ipswich’s last three games and seems to be getting better with each one. If he can stay fit, he can be an important player for the Tractor Boys moving forward.
On his day, he has the ability to dictate the pace of the game and have a key influence on proceedings. Martin O’Neill will be hoping the likes of Jack Colback can prevent this from happening at the weekend.
He may now be in the latter stages of his career, but Alan Judge is still a major threat at this level. The 30-year-old actually picked up his recent long-term injury against the Tractor Boys in April 2016, whilst playing for Brentford. He’ll be pleased to have finally recovered from that major setback.
Judge made the decision to leave the Bees in January in search of first-team football. It’s fair to say that he has made a significant impact at Portman Road since linking up with Paul Lambert. He may have only picked up one assist so far, but he has played a key role in their recent upturn in form.
It remains to be seen whether or not he stays at the club beyond the end of the season if they are relegated to League One.
There’s no doubt that scoring goals has been a problem at Portman Road throughout the season. However, Kayden Jackson has shown that he does have the ability to find the back of the net at this level.
The 25-year-old arrived at Portman Road on a three-year deal from Accrington Stanley in the summer. It’s fair to say that he has struggled to make the step-up to the Championship, shown by the fact he has only been able to find the back of the net four times in 29 appearances in all competitions.
Despite this, the Reds will still have to be wary of him. One thing he doesn’t lack is pace and he will look to get in-behind at every opportunity. As neither Yohan Benalouane or Alex Milošević are blessed with much pace, they’ll have to make sure their positioning stifles the striker.