Clark backs McCarthy to lead Ipswich Town into the Premier League

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy. Photo: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy. Photo: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Blackpool boss Lee Clark has backed Mick McCarthy to take Ipswich Town into the Premier League.

McCarthy last week said Clark was the man to lead the Tangerines – whose relegation to League One has already been confirmed – to promotion next season.

And Clark was equally complementary after his side lost 3-2 at Portman Road on Saturday, the Blues moving back into sixth spot with just four games to go.

“Ipswich are a team that never give up, they’ve got a tremendous work ethic and their team spirit looks brilliant,” enthused the former Huddersfield and Birmingham boss. “I’m a big fan of Mick McCarthy and I do hope him and his lads get in the top six.”

Asked if he felt McCarthy – who won the Championship title with both Sunderland and Wolves – could make it a hat-trick of promotions with Ipswich, he said: “Without a doubt. He’s done it many, many times with different clubs. He gets a group of players who are honest, work extremely hard and give absolutely everything for the jersey. I think they’ve got a really good chance.

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“When you compare Ipswich to the other clubs that are up there, Mick hasn’t had a huge transfer budget to deal with, if any, so for him to be challenging with some of those clubs is credit to him and his staff.”

It’s looking like Ipswich are embroiled in four-way fight with Derby, Brentford and Wolves for fifth and sixth spots. The Blues travel to McCarthy’s former club Wolves for a potentially crunch clash this Saturday then finish the regular season with games against Nottingham Forest (h) and Blackburn (a).

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First though, there is the small matter of a home game against mid-table Cardiff City tomorrow night, McCarthy calling upon Ipswich fans to get behind their team once more.

“I thought our fans were great when we went 1-0 down, I thought they were terrific,” enthused the Blues boss following Saturday’s topsy-turvy win over Blackpool. “I didn’t hear any groans or moans or boos, I heard encouragement, and I thought that was fabulous. That probably got us back on the front foot as much as me and TC (assistant Terry Connor) barking orders at them.

“Even when it went to 2-2 I didn’t hear them turn against us, which was fab. We’ll need more of that in our last two home games too.”

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