Let’s get the job done today
Sheffield Weds v Ipswich: LET’S get the job done.
That’s Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy’s message to his players ahead of this afternoon’s match at Sheffield Wednesday.
Victory could make the Suffolk side mathematically safe from Championship relegation if results elsewhere were to go their way – a fantastic achievement considering they were rock-bottom with just seven points when Mick McCarthy arrived as manager on November 1.
And it should be a case of when, not if, the Blues can officially begin planning for a 12th successive campaign in English football’s second tier. Five points clear of the drop zone with three games to play, there are 10 teams worse off in the fight to avoid the remaining two danger spots.
“We’re in a good position, but we want to go and get something at Sheffield Wednesday and try and make sure that we’re not wanting points from the last two games,” said McCarthy, whose side finish their season with a home game against Birmingham (12th) and away trip to Burnley (17th).
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“I don’t want to be wanting points heading into the last game at Burnley, because they might be needing them too and that would be a huge game.”
Town are just two points behind ninth-place – a position they have not finished as high as since 2009 – and McCarthy believes a strong finish could provide a vital feel-good factor in the summer months.
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“Finishing strongly would make us all feel better heading into the break. If we could maintain those clean sheets (10 in 14 matches) it would give everybody going away that belief that we could come back and compete next season.
“I’ve seen the league table since November and we are fourth. It’s only Cardiff, Hull and Watford (the league’s genuine top three) above us. Out of 30 games we’ve had 49 points.
“Coming back with a fresh start and some new additions, not 10 loan players, I think we will be better.”
– See today’s EADT for full match preview. For live match updates from Hillsborough, follow @Stuart_Watson and @ChrisBramms on Twitter.