Ipswich Town can keep proving the doubters wrong, just like Burnley did last season

Ipswich Town players celebrate duing Saturday's 4-1 home win over Leeds United

Ipswich Town players celebrate duing Saturday's 4-1 home win over Leeds United - Credit: Ashley Pickering

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy sees a lot of similarities between his side and the Burnley outfit who surprised many to claim automatic promotion from the Championship last season.

Sean Dyche’s side were among few pundits’ picks for the top six, let alone the top two, before a ball was kicked. Many expected their early form to drop off too, yet the low-budget Lancashire outfit ended up losing just five league and securing second spot in style.

“If you’ve got a team that works hard, is organised, is disciplined and keeps clean sheets and also has goalscorers, like Burnley had (Danny Ings and Sam Vokes netted a combined 41 times in the league), then you always have a chance in this division,” said McCarthy.

“I remember their game here last season vividly (1-0 away win). We were the better team for the most part of that match but they stuck with it and had a goalscorer.

“At the time, because it was early on in the season, I think people looked at them and thought; ‘Are they going to carry on with that? Can it work all the way through the season?’. Well, it did, it worked perfectly for them, so fair play to them and it’s similar here with us at the moment. But there are a lot of games to play yet.”

Just like Burnley had, Town have a tight-knit and spirited squad that is more than prepared to battle in order to stay in matches. And in strike duo Daryl Murphy and David McGoldrick they have a partnership in red-hot form.

Murphy is the division’s leading scorer with 13, while McGoldrick – on six goals – is showing ominous signs that he only just getting back to his brilliant best following the knee injury which sidelined him from February to July this year.

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Asked if he felt McGoldrick’s best was still to come this season, McCarthy replied: “Let’s hope so.

“What’s been nice is that we’ve had Murph who has been scoring goals and so he (McGoldrick) has been taken out of the limelight a bit.

“I’m sure he doesn’t like that, but he’s been a willing and able assistant to the goalscorer. That’s what’s nice about Didz, he’s selfless in that way. He contributes to the team in other ways than just putting the ball in the back of the net.”

The Blues boss added: “We’ve a good striking partnership that is admired by other people. If you speak to other managers after the game they’ll always be complimenting those two and saying they’re a good partnership, individually and as a partnership. It’s a good weapon to have.”