At least five more wins required – McCarthy sets his side a target ahead of Brentford visit

Mick McCarthy at Rotherham

Mick McCarthy at Rotherham

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy believes his side need to win at least five of their remaining 11 matches if they are to secure a Championship play-off place.

The Blues lost 2-0 at Norwich last Sunday and 2-1 at Leeds on Wednesday night, suffering back-to-back league defeats for the first time this season.

Outside of the top six spots for the first time since November, they host Brentford at Portman Road this afternoon (3pm) – the team who leapfrogged them in midweek.

“It’s 75 points that you usually need for the play-off places,” said McCarthy. “That’s five wins needed still. It might be more this year, who knows? We’ve got them all around us to play.”

This afternoon’s match represents a golden chance to quickly move back into the play-off places. Then it’s Middlesbrough (a), Bolton (h), Watford (a), Bournemouth (h), Huddersfield (a), Blackpool (h), Cardiff (h), Wolves (a), Nottingham Forest (h) and Blackburn (a).

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Asked about the role supporters could play today, McCarthy – whose side have won 11 of their 17 home league games this season – said: “They can help or hinder. And help is a much better one for me.

“When things are going well, we’re all great. When things are going bad, we’re all s***e. That kind of disappoints me that. And that’s everywhere by the way, all around the world, not just here.

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“It doesn’t help. I tend to find, when you’ve had a couple of defeats, that’s when you need the support. That’s when you need people to believe in you.

“That’s collective; me putting my arm around players and the crowd getting behind them.

“We’ll need them (the supporters) to stick with us because it might be frustrating, they (Brentford) might have plenty of possession.”

He added: “I know there’s nothing I can say that’s going to make the fans feel less nervous. If we win they’ll all be cheering when we’re walking off at quarter to five. If we haven’t, it will be something different. Let’s hope we win – and we win together.”

– See today’s EADT for full match preview. Follow @Stuart_Watson on Twitter for live match updates.

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