Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy wants his team to make Portman Road a fortress again

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy and assistant Terry Connor. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwa

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy and assistant Terry Connor. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has challenged his team to rediscover their home form of a year ago.

The Blues had the joint-best home record in the Championship when they finished sixth in 2014/15, but picked up 35 points from a possible 69 at Portman Road last season and have a record of P8 W3 D4 L1 on Suffolk soil this campaign.

Town fans voiced their frustration following the 2-2 home draw with rock-bottom Rotherham at the end of last month.

The team responded with a fine 2-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday and, following an international break, they return to action with back-to-back home matches – a televised tea-time clash with Nottingham Forest tomorrow (5.30pm, Sky Sports) followed by the visit of Ian Holloway’s QPR a week later.

“We want to win games and we want to entertain the fans that come and watch us,” said McCarthy.

“I’m not going to say it was unacceptable against Rotherham though. I don’t think we played that badly. We just gave two really mucky goals away that we don’t normally concede.

“We’ve got to get the home record better. Two years ago the home form was really good when we finished in the top six and I think we need to get back to that if we are going to do that again.

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“It’s just not a foregone conclusion that you beat teams like Rotherham though. I look back at us being bottom of the league four years ago and we had some good results on the road.”

Nottingham Forest are currently placed 20th in the table having won just one of their last 11 league games. French boss Philippe Montanier is under pressure with a club takeover in the offing.

“They’ve been 3-5-2,” said McCarthy. “I don’t think they’ve won a game that way, so whether they continue to play that way or have worked on something different over the break I don’t know, but we’ve got our way of playing and will worry about our performance.”

Is it important for his team to enjoy a fast start?

“Not if it ends up like Rotherham,” replied McCarthy. “It doesn’t matter how you start as long as you win the game.

“I guess you’re suggesting that we need a fast start to get a bit of support from the stands. It would be great to think we’ll get a fast start, entertain and be 2-0 up, but as long as we win the game does that really matter? I just want three points. We’ll do our best to entertain the fans and play good football, but winning is where we want to get to.”

He added: “The mood wasn’t low, it doesn’t get like that, but winning away has given everyone a boost.

“That was two weeks ago though and it’s a bit like ‘did it ever happen?’ But, of course, nobody is talking to me about having lost the last game.”