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Mick McCarthy ‘worried’ by Jon Stead’s return to Portman Road

PUBLISHED: 16:27 21 December 2012

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy

Archant

Ipswich v Bristol City: Mick McCarthy believes it would be ‘sod’s law’ if Robins striker Jon Stead scored against his former club tomorrow.

The former Town striker is expected to spearhead Bristol City’s attack – and should get a warm reception from the Portman Road faithful.

He will also face a Blues boss mindful of the threat posed by the affable 29-year-old who is set to keep Sam Baldock and Steven Davies on the bench.

Of Stead, McCarthy said: “I am worried, because it’s sod’s law that somebody comes back to a former club and scores.

“There’s always the chance he might nick one and and we have to make sure he doesn’t. Jon has plenty of ability as a player, he’s got good pace, runs in the channels and is a handful in the air. I’ve got no doubt he’ll want to do well.”

While a number of Bristol City players have labelled tomorrow’s game a virtual six-pointer, McCarthy said: “From our perspective we are against one of our real competitors at the bottom of the table. It’s a really important game. If we win it puts a nice distance between us.”

When asked whether Town were still in a relegation scrap, McCarthy insisted: “Without a doubt. We only have to lose two games and we’re right back in there.

“Anybody can beat anybody in this league, that was proven by Peterborough going to Cardiff and getting a win last weekend. It just shows the standard of this league.”

McCarthy praised tomorrow’s opponents but revealed he was only focusing on what his players can do.

He said: “They’ve got some decent players. They’re a bit like us when we were struggling at the bottom of the league, people were saying ‘they’ve got some decent players, why are they down there’?

“The Championship can be turned on its head though as we all know. We’ve just got to focus on us and not worry about them too much.

“I’ve got three reports as always and a couple of games on DVD. They played Sheffield Wednesday and drew 3-3. You can look at that two ways, they’ve scored three away from home but also conceded three.

“That’s a bit like us and everyone else at the bottom of the table. You have a decent result, then you can suddenly become fragile.”

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Ipswich Town fans have shown their disgust for a billboard in the town showing off Norwich City’s new home kit - by attempting to tear it down.

Ipswich Town’s pre-season preparations continue tomorrow with a friendly match at League One side Gillingham.

Nottingham Forest have reportedly had a £2m bid for striker Daryl Murphy accepted by Newcastle United.

Ipswich Town take on Gillingham in their fourth pre-season friendly of the summer tomorrow. Here’s all you need to know ahead of the game at Priestfield.

Ex-Ipswich Town boss George Burley believes Mick McCarthy faces a simple decision regarding homegrown talent this season – either give them a fair chance to develop or send them out on loan.

Impressive young midfielder Flynn Downes has signed a new three-year deal at Portman Road.

Ipswich Town striker target John Marquis has signed a new deal with Doncaster Rovers.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says he is happy to go into the new season with a reduced squad size.

Ipswich Town continued their unbeaten pre-season last night with a 3-1 win at Peterborough United, in which a couple of new signings saw their first action in a Town shirt.

Ipswich Town recorded a 3-1 win at League One side Peterborough United last night. STUART WATSON reports on 120-minutes of pre-season action at London Road.

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