From underdogs to favourites – Mick McCarthy knows the pressure is on ahead of today’s game against Bristol City

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy - Credit: PA

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy spoke to the press yesterday ahead of this afternoon’s Championship visit of Bristol City. Below the Blues boss talks about additional pressure, Manchester motivation and what Tommy Oar will bring to the party.

ON WEDNESDAY’S 3-0 DEFEAT AT MANCHESTER UNITED IN THE CAPITAL ONE CUP, A TEAM OF FRINGE PLAYERS COMPETING WELL AGAINST A STAR-STUDDED HOME TEAM

“Christophe (Berra) and I were talking before the game and he said ‘I miss this gaffer’. You don’t realise until you come back to stadiums like that, see the grandeur and splendour of it, the occasion that is playing Premier League teams.

“Instead I come in today and there are six people in this press conference! In a Premier League game it would probably be full. That just gives us all extra motivation to be competing in that league week-in, week-out.

“All of the players will have taken something from the game. And what I take from it is that I know they can all play in my team. I’ve got no worries when I look over my shoulder at the subs bench and think ‘I’m not putting him on’. I’ve got 22 players I can play.”


You may also want to watch:


ON TAKING ALL OF HIS SQUAD TO OLD TRAFFORD

“Twenty four of us travelled and the reason for that was double pronged really.

Most Read

“We travel some distances to games and we have players that travel every week and show their support for the ones that are playing. They’re going ‘all the best’ beforehand and then ‘well done’ or ‘unlucky’ afterwards.

“There are some players who spend a whole season doing that and they are fantastic, the ones that do it selflessly and willingly all the time. They come in and train on the Sunday morning when they haven’t played, always being the back-up guys.

“I thought it was nice for the regulars to play that role on Wednesday, to travel and support their team-mates.

“A lot of it was to do with that, but it was also to see the stadium and see what we can get by being promoted. It is a bit of an awe-inspiring place and our aim now is to go to places like that on a regular basis.”

ON THE DISPLAY OF DEBUTANT TOMMY OAR

“Ainsley (Maitland-Niles) and Ryan Fraser are our players for the season, but going forwards who knows what will happen. I was aware of that when I spoke to Marcus (Evans) and said ‘it would be nice to take one that’s our player’. That’s why we went and got Tommy Oar. I was pleased with him.

“I thought his dead ball deliveries were terrific, which is something we’ve not had. He puts it on blob every time.

“We scored quiet a few goals off Ando’s (Paul Anderson) free-kicks and corners, but it’s nice when you’ve got someone who takes set-pieces and you know where it’s going to go every time.”

GIVEN HIS MIDWEEK SELECTION, IS THERE ADDED PRESSURE TO BEAT BRISTOL CITY?

“Yeah, loads. It’s now up to the lads that didn’t play to perform.

“There was always going to be pressure on this game. Bristol haven’t started so well, we’ve had a good start, and it’s our home game. It’s about us and how we play. I’ve said that to the guys.”

ON BRISTOL CITY’S SLOW START (ONE WIN IN EIGHT) FOLLOWING PROMOTION

“It’s a step up in football. We saw that on Wednesday night. We think we’re doing alright at this level, but Manchester United is a step up in class.

“Bristol City have stepped up a league and it’s different, it’s harder. It’s how they settle down now.

“They might suddenly get a canter on with a couple of results, so it’s up to us to make sure we don’t give them that leg up.”

ON BRISTOL CITY’S WING-BACK SYSTEM

“They’re a threat because they pour men forward. They push both wing backs up, they leave two strikers up and they have a free man in behind. As has been seen, it can be a threat to your own side if you leave yourself too open though.

“I know Steve (Cotterill) has been asked the question ‘are you going to keep doing what you’ve been doing?’ Of course, as a manager, you stick your chest out that little bit more and be your belligerent best if that’s what you believe in.

“I do wonder, with them coming here, whether he’ll stay the same though.

ON TEDDY BISHOP’S RECOVERY FROM SHIN/HAMSTRING INJURIES “He’ll be a while. We’ll make sure he’s fit when he comes back. We’re just giving him a longer rehab than normal. Hopefully that will be the right thing to do because we’ve got a lot of games left to play.2

ON COLE SKUSE, WHO IS FACING HIS BOYHOOD CLUB TODAY

“He is one of the most consistent players that I’ve ever signed, I would say, and one of the best on a free transfer. On anything actually, forget free transfer, he is one of the bets signings I have made.

“You can only judge them on what club you are at and what you are doing. I’ve been at this level for most of my career and he’s been on of the best players I’ve signed. He’s been terrific.”

You can get involved in today’s game using our Match Centre, which brings you live updates and all the news and views from Portman Road.

See here to have you say ahead of the big game.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter