‘I don’t fear any team’ – Mick McCarthy confident ahead of Watford visit
Ipswich v Watford: WE can beat anyone.
That’s the confident message from Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy ahead of tonight’s game against red-hot Watford at Portman Road.
Gianfranco Zola’s side are just three points adrift of the automatic promotion places following a return of 15 wins from their last 25 matches.
With their link-up with Italian side Udinese paying dividends, the Hornets’ collection of foreign loanees have proved unplayable at times – their 4-0 victory at Birmingham on Saturday taking the number of away goals scored to an incredible 36.
The Blues have lost just one of their nine home games under McCarthy though, with Watford – as well as top two Cardiff and Hull – the only sides to claim more points in the division since the Suffolk side changed managers.
“Watford are a very, very talented side,” said the Blues boss, whose team defended superbly in Saturday’s 1-0 home win over a Blackpool side who had scored in their previous seven matches.
“They are excellent on the break, are clinical and score a lot of goals – but they can concede as well.
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“I don’t have any fears about anybody because I think if we play to our levels and our standards then we can cope with all of the teams in this division. We’ve already coped with the top team (goalless draw at Cardiff).
“We had to play particularly well at Cardiff. It wasn’t Cardiff being below-par, we actually did very, very well and everybody on the pitch – had you marked them out of 10 – were all seven upwards.
“That’s how it’s got to be when you’re playing the top sides. And I think we’ll have to be at our best against Watford.”
The Blues boss added: “It was a belligerent performance by us more than anything else on Saturday and I think it will need to be the same again. If we can add a little bit more quality, some more of what Chops (Michael Chopra) provided, then we’ll be okay.
“It was great Saturday, but it’s a different game tonight.
“Anything can happen in this league. We go to the likes of Charlton, Bolton and Wolves and win, then we draw at home against Peterborough and Bristol City here.
“I always think though that, wherever and whoever we’re paying, we can win.”
– See today’s EADT and Ipswich Star for full match preview, including a happy coincidence in the making and McCarthy’s thoughts on Watford’s contingent of foreign loan players.