Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy sticking to his ‘no such thing as a bad away point’ ahead of trips to Middlesbrough and Yeovil

Middlesbrough v Ipswich: It’s imperative that Ipswich Town emerge from a gruelling five-day schedule still in touch with their sixth-spot rivals.

The Blues – currently ninth in the Championship table and four points adrift of the play-off places – host sixth-placed Wigan a week today and then travel to eighth-place Brighton the following weekend. First though, they have two away matches and 1,000 miles to negotiate.

Town’s squad made the long journey up to the north east yesterday afternoon and, following today’s match at Middlesbrough (14th), won’t be back in Suffolk much before midnight tonight.

On Monday, McCarthy’s men will be back on the coach to make the four hour journey down to the south west ahead of Tuesday night’s game at Yeovil (23rd). By the time they get back in Ipswich around 3am on Wednesday morning it will be apparent just how much is still to play for.

“There’s no point us getting beat in the next two games, Wigan and Brighton winning and thus making our games against them pointless,” said McCarthy.

“Wigan at home will be a huge game if we’re still on their coat-tails. If we haven’t stayed in touch though then they’ll be coming here with a big cigar in their mouths.”

McCarthy’s mantra has always been ‘there is no such thing as a bad away point’. Asked if that still applies over the next few days, he replied: “I don’t know. We could have been eight points out of it after we lost at Leicester, but we weren’t (because Reading lost), we went and won (against Birmingham) last weekend and the gap’s four points.

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“I’d love to get some away wins, but if you’re asking me if a point at Middlesbrough would be a bad point then I’d say no. Yeovil are no mugs. Listen, we’re going to try and win both games. I haven’t got my crystal ball out, I don’t know what will happen. We’ll try and win them and I’ll take what I get.”

Whatever happens over the coming weeks, it will undoubtedly have been a season of progress for a club that was rock-bottom of the table when McCarthy took over little more than 15 months ago.

Asked if he felt the job he was doing is appreciated, the Blues boss said: “I think it is very much acknowledged and respected and appreciated. I’ve never come across anybody who has said ‘you’re having a rubbish season, you should be doing better’. I think it’s just accepted that’s it’s been a fairly solid job that I’ve done.

“I don’t think there’s any reason at all to be pessimistic. We’ve been on the back of the play-offs all season and we’ve still got a chance of being in them. The next two games are big games. The next couple of weeks is interesting.”

– Follow @Stuart_Watson on Twitter for live match updates.

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