Don’t get beat – Mick’s mantra will be exactly the same this season

Terry Connor and Mick McCarthy

Terry Connor and Mick McCarthy - Credit: Archant

Same again please.

That’s what Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has told his players ahead of the start of a new Championship campaign tomorrow.

The Blues enjoyed a remarkable turnaround under the straight-talking Yorkshireman’s management last season, a back-to-basics approach of hard-graft and organisation lifting them from rock-bottom to an ultimately comfortable 14th-place finish.

That return of 53 points from 33 games would have been enough for a top six finish – a target McCarthy has not attempted to play down at all heading into tomorrow’s opener at newly-relegated Reading.

Asked if there would need to be more of an emphasis on attacking football for that to happen, the Blues boss said: “No, the approach will be exactly the same. Why would it not?

“I like my teams to play football and play on the front foot, but I’ll tell you what I don’t like. I don’t like getting thumped by three or four goals.

“We’ll try and score more goals, and there have been some good attacking performances in pre-season, but the mantra will still be ‘don’t get beat’.

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“That mantra would have seen us in the top six if last season had started in November. And I don’t see owt wrong with that.”

– See today’s Ipswich Star and tomorrow’s EADT for a 20-page pull-out ahead of the new season.