Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says Lincoln City FA Cup tie is one his side ‘needs to win’

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy admits tomorrow’s visit of non-league side Lincoln City in the FA Cup third round is a ‘big, important game’ that his team ‘needs to win’.

The Blues boss has treated both knockout competitions as an unwanted distraction during his four years in charge and often made sweeping changes to his starting line-up. His cup record – P12 W2 D3 L7 – reflects that, with Ipswich, as a club, having not won an FA Cup match since 2010.

While Town occupy 15th-place in the Championship following a highly inconsistent first half of the season, in-form Lincoln top the National League table. Around 5,000 Imps fans will make up more than a third of an expected crowd of around 12-13,000 at Portman Road.

“Gerks (Dean Gerken) will play in goal, but that’s hardly weakening it because he’s a first-team goalkeeper. The rest will be as strong as I can make it,” said McCarthy, who has injury concerns over Luke Chambers, Cole Skuse and Myles Kenlock.

“We’re not in or around the play-off positions are we? In previous years we have been.

“It’s a game we need to win. It’s an important game for us. Who knows, if we can win this and get another cup tie we can win it might just give us a bit of impetus in the league?

“If you’re flying in the league then the cup can upset that, but we’re hardly flying in the league – so let’s try and get a cup win.”

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He added: “It’s a big, important game for us. They are bringing five thousand fans and will make it a real cup tie. It might just be the game and atmosphere we need to make it a proper cup tie.”

Asked if he regretted not taking cup games more seriously in the past, he said: “I’m always sad and disappointed when we lose in the cup. I’ve never played a team that I thought would lose.”

On Lincoln, who are pushing for a return to the Football League under ex-Braintree boss Danny Cowley, McCarthy said: “They are a good side and are playing with confidence and a bit of swagger. They will probably see it as a game they can win.”

He then joked: “The National League is a fantastic standard, a really good standard. I’m not going to say anything else am I?! That would really cheese them off!

“Listen, it’s going to be a tough game and one we’ve got to take care of. If we don’t then we’ll be in trouble I think.”