A pair of wounded animals – Mick McCarthy hopes Leeds are wary of his side

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy hopes Leeds United’s defenders – fresh from being given a torrid time by free-flowing Watford – are nervous about the prospect of facing his powerful side.

The Blues swept aside the Yorkshire outfit 4-1 at Portman Road, at the beginning of December, and are determined to respond quickly to Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Norwich in the East Anglian derby.

Leeds had been on a roll, under new boss Neil Redfearn, but they go into tonight’s fixture on the back of two defeats; 2-0 at Brighton and 3-2 at home to Watford, the latter seeing the Hornets roar back from 2-0 down to deservedly win 3-2 on Saturday.

“They were 2-0 up against Watford, but it could have been eight or nine against them in the second half,” said McCarthy. “How will they react? I don’t know. The fans will certainly want to see a reaction. It’s two wounded animals facing each other isn’t it?”

He continued: “I think it will be in their minds that they got a bit of a doing down here. Let’s hope that’s the case anyway.

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“When I was a player, if we’d lost 3-0 the week before then I was even more determined to do well the following game. I didn’t worry and think ‘crikey, we might concede four next week’. I was the opposite. There might be some that aren’t like that though.”

The Blues boss continued: “Elland Road on a Wednesday night, under the lights; that’s never an easy task. But we’re fine. We’ve had some good results on the road.

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“The intimidating places are the best places to go and play if you want to be a top footballer. I’ve always preferred it when there’s a really good atmosphere and you’re getting a bit of abuse. It gets the hackles up, it gets the senses up and you have to play. If you can’t perform in those games then sadly you won’t be a top player.”

Asked if his players were ready to go again following Sunday’s disappointment, McCarthy said: “I went around them all yesterday to have a chat and see how they felt.

“None of them thought we were outplayed. We were outdone, because they scored two goals, but there weren’t many chances in it and it was just a tight, tough derby game.

“It was a setback because we missed out on three points. I get how much it means to the fans, but you have to take the emotion out of it.

“I’m not despondent about how we played. The result was the result. There’s no point getting depressed about defeats. They happen and there will be another one at some stage. You just have to shift your focus to the next game.”

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