Ipswich Town boss targets ‘nicer, more attractive football’ but won’t put style before substance

Ipswich Town striker Joe Garner tries an overhead kick in the Gillingham penalty area. Photo: PAGEPI

Ipswich Town striker Joe Garner tries an overhead kick in the Gillingham penalty area. Photo: PAGEPIX LTD

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy won’t sacrifice results to satisfy supporters’ thirst for more attractive football at Portman Road this season.

The Blues boss has admitted he would like to see his team “play nicer, more attractive football”, following last season’s 16th-placed finish, but not if it means another campaign struggling near the bottom of the Championship.

His summer business so far suggests better football could be on the horizon, the arrivals of midfielder Emyr Huws and loan winger, Bersant Celina, in particular, a step in the right direction.

However, McCarthy, whose side had to battle and scrap for points during a season-long struggle last term – often playing an industrious style – knows how tough the Championship is and admits playing better football does not guarantee positive results.

“It became a means to an end last year, it was about staying up from Christmas onwards,” McCarthy said.

“I was never going to say it then, although I did say it privately, I wouldn’t have said it publicly because that’s not going to impress anybody.

“But that’s what it was about and it was about being hard to beat, pretty much most of the time. That didn’t always happen. We had a lot of draws, of course.

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“I’d love to play nicer, more attractive football, but I’d always say not at the cost of being at the bottom of the league, of course.”

McCarthy, who takes his side to League One Charlton for the Blues’ final game of pre-season on Saturday, added: “But I’m not asking anybody to be patient, I think they’ve run out of patience, we’ll have to get them back on my side.”

Meanwhile, McCarthy praised the youngsters he fielded in Tuesday night’s 1-0 win at Colchester – a game that saw Joe Garner score the only goal of the game.

“The youngsters did well again,” McCarthy said.

“Conor McKendry did well, Tristan Nydam was terrific. Adam McDonnell, who has been around longer, had a good first-half.

“Flynn Downes has been a stand out player for us and it was Ben Morris’ best game when he has been involved with the first-team. From the first minute when he made a block, he showed more aggression and competitiveness.”

The club’s annual open day, which includes a player signing session and lots of fun activities, takes place at Portman Road tomorrow.

Gates open at 9.30am and admission is free.