Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy can’t predict a winner of this season’s Championship

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy doesn’t think there is a clear favourite to win the Sky Bet Championship this season.

The Blues boss is in his fifth full season in charge at Portman Road and wants to surpass his previous best finish with Ipswich in the Championship – sixth, and earn another crack at the second tier play-offs.

However, McCarthy accepts the challenges ahead will be extremely tough but finds it hard to believe a team will run away with the league this season.

Speaking to ‘Alan Brazil’s Sports Breakfast’ on TalkSport, McCarthy said: “Everybody will tip the ones that have spent all the money, and rightly so.

“Last season you had Newcastle, who came down, kept all their players and bought all the best Championship players and went straight back up.

“Brighton were brilliant in terms of having missed out on the Championship play-offs (the season before).

“I am not sure there is a team like that this season, Sunderland have come down but have not spent big like Newcastle did, although ‘Boro (Middlesbrough) have.

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“There are so many teams that have spent a fair few quid, Reading were very good last year, as were Fulham, but neither have been throwing their money around.

“Maybe they think their squads are good enough, I don’t know.”

Town began their season with a 1-0 home win against Birmingham City last Saturday, thanks to new signing Joe Garner’s debut goal, and McCarthy wants to build on that, with a place in the top-six the ultimate ambition.

Asked about the victory over Harry Redknapp’s Birmingham, McCarthy confessed to the former Blues striker: “For sure we needed that result.

“Last season was not good, we didn’t play particularly well, we weren’t entertaining, but apart from that, it was a nice easy season last year.

“(The win) was great for me and great for the fans as they watched some pretty turgid stuff.

“It was a good start and we played well.”

McCarthy, whose team travel to Barnsley tomorrow, aiming to preserve their unbeaten start to the season in league and cup, added: “The realistic aim (for Ipswich) is the top six.”