Former boss George Burley urges Ipswich to focus on Championship promotion push, rather than Manchester United

George Burley on the touchline with Sir Alex Ferguson in 2000. Picture Owen Hines

George Burley on the touchline with Sir Alex Ferguson in 2000. Picture Owen Hines

Forget next month’s glamour trip to Manchester United, the serious business of Championship promotion must take precedence.

So says former Blues boss George Burley after the Suffolk side were drawn at Old Trafford in the third round of the Capital One Cup.

That game will take place on Wednesday, September 23 – with ticket details announced today – but before that there is a top-of-the-table clash with Brighton at Portman Road on Saturday, followed by league matches against Reading (a), Leeds (a) and Birmingham (h).

“The Manchester United game will capture the imagination, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that the league is the priority,” said Burley, who made his Town debut as a 17-year-old at Old Trafford in 1973, marking George Best.

“Going to Old Trafford has to be seen as a bonus game. It’s a no-lose situation and a great opportunity for some of the younger players to gain valuable experience.

“No doubt about it though, the key goal this season is to get promoted.”

Excitement levels are understandably high among supporters following an unbeaten start to the season in league and cup, Mick McCarthy’s men having started with a draw at Brentford and subsequently claimed five successive victories, scoring at least twice in every outing.

The prospect of facing Wayne Rooney, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Memphis Depay and co is a mouth-watering one, with the Blues given an initital allocation of 5,500 away tickets for the match – a figure they may even be able to increase upon request.

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Around 18,500 tickets have been sold for Saturday’s visit of Brighton to Portman Road so far, a crowd of 20,081 in attendance for the recent home Saturday win over Sheffield Wednesday.

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