‘I’ve been there – Burnley’s guard will be down,’ insists bullish Ipswich Town boss Mick Mccarthy
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Newly-promoted Burnley will not be able to match Ipswich Town’s intensity at Turf Moor tomorrow lunch-time.
So says Blues boss Mick McCarthy, who was in a bullish mood ahead of his side’s crunch clash.
A draw or defeat will almost certainly end Town’s play-off hopes following the return of just one point over the Easter weekend, but a win would guarantee they would head into their season-finale against Sheffield Wednesday, at Portman Road, still in with a shot at a top-six finish.
It’s a tough ask considering Burnley have lost just two of their 20 home games in the league this season, but McCarthy – who achieved automatic promotion with both Sunderland and Wolves – is convinced the Lancashire side will take their foot off the gas after sealing second spot with a 2-0 home win over Wigan on Monday.
With Clarets boss Sean Dyche having given his players Tuesday and Wednesday off to celebrate, McCarthy said: “I’m pleased they got promoted on Monday because I’ve been there. You get promoted and you relax – there’s no doubt about that.
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“I’m hoping that Burnley have enjoyed their week, that they’ve taken their eye off the ball slightly.
“You’re as a tight as a piano wire while you’re going for something, then when you achieve it you loosen off slightly.
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“They’ve been playing at such an intensity for 44 games, maybe they will now let their guards down a bit. If they do, we have to take advantage.
“Leicester did that when they sealed promotion with five or six to go (losing 4-1 at home to Brighton). I’m hoping Burnley will do the same.”
Even if Ipswich win their last two games, they would still need Reading, Brighton and Nottingham Forest to slip up at least once each to break into the play-off places.
Brighton host already-relegated Yeovil tonight, while tomorrow Reading play at a Doncaster side still fighting for survival and Forest are away to a Bournemouth side still eyeing up sixth-spot themselves.
Reading then finish their season with a home game against Burnley, while Forest and Brighton go head-to-head at The City Ground.
“If we win on Saturday then we’re guaranteed to still be in with a chance (of a top-six finish) going into the last game, regardless of what anyone else does,” said McCarthy.
“It would be brilliant if we could take it to the last weekend. We can’t worry about what anyone else does. All we can do is win our own games.”