Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy aiming for League Cup progress

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy - Credit: Archant

The Portman Road treatment table may be filling up, but Mick McCarthy insists Ipswich Town will be up for the battle at Broadhall Way tonight.

The Blues head to League One Stevenage in the Capital One Cup first round, aiming to avoid a similar banana skin to the one they slipped up on at Carlisle a year ago.

The former Wolves boss is ready to hand defender Christoph Berra and goalkeeper Dean Gerken first starts, while Tommy Smith could deputise at left-back in the absence of Aaron Cresswell (thigh) and Tyrone Mings (knee).

The likes of Paul Anderson, Frank Nouble, Paul Taylor and Frederic Veseli could also be given their chance to shine on their first-team stage and McCarthy insists his team will be as competitive as ever, despite the competition being seen as a distraction by some.

“I get asked this question all the time, about the League Cup being a distraction,” said McCarthy, who will also be withouth Anthony Wordsworth (calf) and on-loan Manchester United midfielder, Ryan Tunnicliffe (ineligible).

“It’s the League Cup and I want to try and win the game and then do the same in the next one.

“It’s a bit early to be looking at the League Cup final but Ipswich are playing a game of football at Stevenage and it is my job to try and win it.”

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McCarthy’s side suffered an opening day setback at Reading on Saturday, losing 2-1 at the Madjeski Stadium, while tonight’s opponents lost 4-3 at home to Oldham Athletic.

Despite conceding four goals and playing a level below, McCarthy said his team must not rest on their laurels.

“I have watched Stevenage this week, against Oldham, and they have a big, powerful team,” added McCarthy.

“They scored two good goals, one from a free-kick and one from a corner and also got one from a quick throw-in, so they are bright enough and a bit of thought goes into what they do.

“When you play teams from a lower level it is always tough as they will want to win and rub your noses in it. Stevenage will be no different.”