Luton Town v Ipswich Town: Match preview

Ipswich Town have exited the League Cup at the first hurdle in five of the last six seasons, includi

Ipswich Town have exited the League Cup at the first hurdle in five of the last six seasons, including a 1-0 home defeat to Stevenage this time last year. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy knows defeat in tonight’s Carabao Cup first round tie at League Two side Luton Town could quickly kill off any renewed feelgood factor surrounding the club.

Martyn Waghorn could make his Blues debut tonight if international clearance for his switch from Ran

Martyn Waghorn could make his Blues debut tonight if international clearance for his switch from Rangers comes through in time. Photo: ITFC - Credit: Archant

As disappointing and uninspiring as last season’s 16th-place Championship finish was, there is a sense of new beginnings following Saturday’s encouraging opening weekend 1-0 league win against Birmingham City at Portman Road.

Slowly but surely, the Blues boss has freshened up his squad this summer with Dominic Iorfa, Flynn Downes and Joe Garner all enjoying impressive debuts and both Bersant Celina and Martyn Waghorn set for their first outings this evening.

It won’t take much for the mood to turn sour again though. An early Cup defeat would certainly bring back a sense of Groundhog Day given the Blues have exited the League Cup at the first hurdle to lower league opposition in five of the last six seasons. Since taking over as Blues boss in November 2012, McCarthy has been in charge of 15 knockout competition games – both League and FA – and won just two of them. There have been defeats to Stevenage (twice), Crawley, Preston, Portsmouth and Lincoln.

• North Stander: Please play a good team in the cup! “I want to win, because we had an awful result at Charlton (6-1 friendly defeat), followed by a really good performance and result on Saturday and now we want to build on that,” said the Blues boss.“It’s important to me. We’ve not done well in the Carabao Cup and we want to address that. It would be nice to have back-to-back wins.”• McCarthy on signing Waghorn – hopes he can help make Town ‘nasty’Luton finished fourth in the third-tier last season before losing a thrilling play-off semi-final 6-5 on aggregate to Blackpool. Highly-rated young manager Nathan Jones has signed some experienced players this summer and they started the season with an 8-2 obliteration of Yeovil. “We’re going to have to play well because they were excellent on Saturday,” said McCarthy. “Nathan Jones was the Under-21s manager at Charlton and worked at Brighton with Chris Hughton for a while. I’ve always admired the way his teams play with the diamond.• Like our Facebook page for more news on the Blues“If we don’t get about them and stop them playing they will be a difficult team to stop.“Kenilworth Road is always a horrible place to play. It’s a tight stadium that’s right on top of you and you always get an unbelievable atmosphere there. I’m sure they’ll be up for it.”

Mick McCarthy has won just two of his 15 cup games in charge of Ipswich Town. Photo: Steve Waller

Mick McCarthy has won just two of his 15 cup games in charge of Ipswich Town. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller


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