Nick Miller: From a casual observer's perspective it seems like there have been several points this season where it looked like Ipswich were about to drop out of it, but seem to come up with a big result in time. Just when we thought you were out, they pulled you back in...
Nick Ames: Yes, although you could actually flip it around and say that there were two or three times earlier in the season when we had the chance to go top, or really dig our heels into the automatic promotion race, and blew it. You're certainly right about recent weeks though.
The big one, and the one we'll look back on at the end if all goes to plan, was away at Watford last month – we'd lost three away games in a row to Norwich, Leeds and Boro, drawn with Brentford when we should have scored five, and you could feel that much more of this would throw away a lot of good work. Nobody really gave us a prayer at Vicarage Road but we won in the 95th minute and fully deserved to. Apart from a slip-up at Huddersfield we've kicked on from there to produce something like our earlier-season form and our current position seems a fair reflection overall.
NM: A lot of people have become bored with this 'narrative' or whatever about the team being put together with 70p, three bits of string and some luncheon vouchers, but it's still pretty remarkable and at the same time not all that surprising, because this is what McCarthy does, I guess - he gets teams playing well in the Championship on minimal resources. I should probably ask a question at some point, and this might be a stupid one, but I take it this 'cobbled together' team is out of necessity, rather than some sort of philosophical choice?
NA: It's necessity, yes – Mick is the last person to be quixotic and nor is the owner, Marcus Evans, whose stewardship has looked increasingly convincing after an utterly horrible first few years in which we frittered money on nonsense hand over fist. Evans has learned from his mistakes, and gets credit for that – he is a fully paid-up advocate of FFP (I'll leave out any snarky comments for now, Forest fans) and the job done over the last two years in cutting our cloth while remaining competitive has been quite skilfully done, particularly with attendances falling until this season.