Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy insists he and his side aren’t feeling any pressure after two missed opportunities over the Easter weekend
- Credit: Sarah Lucy brown
Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy insists his players are not feeling any pressure after they missed another opportunity to move into the Championship play-off places.
Twice the door to the top six was left open over the Easter weekend, but twice the Blues failed to walk through it.
And yet, despite the 3-1 defeat at Watford and yesterday’s 2-2 home draw with Bournemouth, in which Town twice led, the Suffolk side are just a point adrift of sixth-spot heading into their final two matches of the campaign.
Brighton – who were held to a 1-1 home draw with Blackpool yesterday – occupy the final play-off position at present, but six other teams – Nottingham Forest, Ipswich, Reading, Blackburn, Bournemouth and Watford – all remain in contention.
“I’m not going to try and predict what’s going to happen,” said McCarthy. “I sit here every week and tell you this league is bonkers. People are saying ‘nobody wants it’, but I think it’s quite the opposite. Everybody is desperate for it and that’s maybe why it becomes harder to grasp.
“Everybody is playing for something. It’s a tough old league.”
Asked if his side were feeling the pressure, the Blues boss replied: “This time last year we still weren’t safe with two games to play. We ended up going up to Burnley on the last game having just secured our position in the league. This season we’re going up to Burnley with two games to play and still with a chance of finishing sixth.
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“I’m a damn sight happier being at the top end of the table. I’m not worrying about getting in the top six at all, I’m just enjoying the challenge of trying to get there.”
Town twice led at Portman Road yesterday, through goals from Paul Anderson (36) and Paul Green (56), but Bournemouth, whose goals came from Steve Cook (44) and Matt Ritchie (80), were good value for a share of the spoils, even though their late leveller took a major deflection.
“I can’t express the pride I have for the lads,” said McCarthy. “They put so much effort in for me, for the club, for themselves. I think they honour the shirt really. They’re fantastic. I think it’s a good point for us with the way we’ve had to play the two games in three days.”
Town travel to Burnley on Saturday, the Lancashire side having secured their promotion to the top-flight with a 2-0 home win over Wigan yesterday. The Blues’ campaign then concludes with the visit of mid-table outfit Sheffield Wednesday on May 3.