‘I like the odds being against us,’ says Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy loves trying to defy the odds. Photo: Gregg Brown

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy loves trying to defy the odds. Photo: Gregg Brown - Credit: Gregg Brown

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy believes his team can beat the odds this season.

The Blues finished 16th back in May, their lowest finish in 58 years, saw around 2,000 disgruntled season ticket holders not renew this summer and are among the bookies’ favourites for relegation heading into a 16th successive campaign in the Championship.

Last weekend’s 6-1 friendly thrashing at League One side Charlton Athletic did little to help the fragile mood ahead of this afternoon’s opener against Birmingham City at Portman Road, but inside the camp a close-knit squad is motivated to prove their doubters wrong.

“I don’t think expectations were low until we got beat 6-1 by Charlton,” said McCarthy, who is hopeful that a deal for a striker is ‘progressing’. “My expectations certainly aren’t low.

“I get a little bit sick of hearing ‘aren’t you doing well because you don’t spend a lot of money’. I get a little bit tired of that. It’s like a patronising pat on the back. How’s about saying ‘look, we’ve got some good players in our team, let’s exceed expectations, not live down to what they think we’re going to achieve’.

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“It should be far more positive than that. That’s my message to the players. Let’s not let’s settle for 17th or 18th just because 16 teams have got more money than us. I’m not interested in that. I want to upset the applecart.”

McCarthy, who had previously overseen finishes of ninth, sixth and seventh, added: “Is top six realistic? That’s a really good question...

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“If you go through the teams and who have spent more than us then, to all intents and purposes, it looks like we have no chance of being in the top six.

“But that was pretty much the thought before we finished in the top six (in 2014/15). I don’t think anybody gave us a chance then, or even when we finished seventh the following year.

“I kind of like the odds being against us. It doesn’t bother me that people write us off.

“What I do know is that we’ll have to play better football than last year and just be all-round better or we’ve no chance of getting in the top six.

“It was a bit of a fortress here for a time, but it wasn’t last year. Somebody had put the drawbridge down last year! That definitely needs to change.”

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