Ipswich Town fixture list is no laughing matter for fans - Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy - Credit: Archant

Mick McCarthy chuckled when he saw Ipswich Town’s new fixture list, but insists the Blues’ schedule is no laughing matter for fans.

Town start their new Championship campaign at one of the early favourites for promotion, Reading, and also face QPR and Wigan, on the road, before the end of September.

Blues fans are due for a rough ride over the Festive period with a trip to Doncaster on Boxing Day coming three days before a visit to the south coast to face Bournemouth.

In March, Town travel to Middlesbrough on a Saturday, then Yeovil, three days later, and also have to fit in lengthy midweek trips to Derby, Huddersfield and Leeds

“We have got Doncaster on Boxing Day and then Bournemouth three days later so we could not get much further apart,” said the 54-year-old.

“We will be alright, it’s never bad for us, and even if we were going to Charlton, we would be staying in a hotel the night before, but it is tough on the fans who want to come to watch us.”

He added: “I started laughing when I saw the fixtures and realised we play two of the relegated teams in our first three games.

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“That’s a tough start, especially if the teams who come down are full of vigour and spirit and want to show everyone they want to get promoted.

“But they can also come down suffering a hangover and maybe have players not wanting to be there.”

Prior to Town’s opening day visit to Berkshire, the Blues will play in a number of friendlies away from home, including League One sides Colchester, Crawley, Gillingham and Notts County.

Ipswich’s pre-season fixture list gets underway next Saturday, in Ireland, against Shelbourne.

“We are playing games within our locality, about 100 miles away,” joked McCarthy.

“It’s geographically difficult to get games; We did have Norwich but that was cancelled.”

And McCarthy is predicting a tough test for his players, despite the games being nothing more than warm-ups.

“In pre-season very often you find the opposition below you are actually harder to play against because they’ve got something to prove,” he added.

For the latest Ipswich Town coverage, follow Blues reporter Chris Brammer on Twitter - @chrisbramms

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