Cardiff City clash is must-win says normally-pragmatic Ipswich Town boss

Mick McCarthy.

Mick McCarthy. - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy has ramped up the pressure on his players ahead of tonight’s home clash with Cardiff City, insisting the game with the Bluebirds is a must-win.

McCarthy has become known for his pragmatism and often subscribes to the theory that there is no such thing as a bad point.

However, with the Blues clinging on to the Championship’s final play-off spot, ahead of Saturday’s crunch clash against eighth-placed Wolves at Molineux, McCarthy has called for his side to maintain the momentum gained in Saturday’s 3-2 home win over relegated Blackpool.

Town could climb to fifth if they win and Derby lose to Blackpool tonight, while defeat and wins for Brentford and Wolves at Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough respectively could suddenly see them slump to eighth, three points outside the top six.

“I think, for us to be in the play-offs, we need to win,” said McCarthy.

“That’s crazy because we could draw or lose and win the next three.

“The reality probably is, with games ebbing away, we need to be going to Wolves with another win under our belt and bit of continued momentum.”

Most Read

McCarthy is sweating on the fitness of Luke Varney, who limped off with a hamstring problem at the weekend, while Kevin Bru (calf), sidelined since the win at Watford on March 21, is unlikely to figure.

Tyrone Mings should be fit after coming off with cramp at the weekend, but Crystal Palace loanee Jonny Williams is still not at a level to complete 90 minutes

Darren Ambrose (hamstring), Noel Hunt (knee), Luke Hyam (knee) and David McGoldrick (thigh) are also out for the clash against the mid-table Bluebirds that, after losing their Premier League status in May, have endured a tough season.

“They were relegated and, as we all know, that can be difficult,” he added.

“The club has to be pulled up by the boot straps and changed.

“I had that at Sunderland. I joined with nine games to go, the team was relegated and suddenly players who were on millions were out the door and we were getting in lads from Oxford, Stockport and Mansfield. That’s tough and that’s where Cardiff are at now.

“Kenwyne Jones had gone out to Bournemouth, (Adam) Le Fondre went to Bolton. It’s hard for Russell Slade.

“But, like Blackpool, they can come here with the pressure off. They have nothing to lose and they’ll want to knock us off our perch. Let’s hope they don’t.”

Tonight’s other fixtures

BirminghamvBlackburn

BrightonvHuddersfield

DerbyvBlackpool

LeedsvNorwich

MiddlesbroughvWolves

MillwallvWigan

Sheff WedvBrentford

BoltonvCharlton

ReadingvBournemouth

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