Mick McCarthy is embracing great expectations

Mick McCarthy. Photo: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mick McCarthy. Photo: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has made no attempt to put a lid on the growing levels of expectation heading into a new campaign.

Having finished last season in top six form, the Blues boss has carried out some shrewd business in the transfer market – high-earners departing and 10 additions having been made.

A wave of optimism has seen Blues fans snap up a twice extended allocation of 2,700 tickets for tomorrow’s opener at newly-relegated Reading, with many believing that this – the club’s 12th successive season in the second tier – could finally herald a promotion push.

“Can we challenge? I’d like to think so – that’s what we’re aiming for,” said McCarthy. “Let’s start with that target.

“There might be a bit more pressure on to push for the top six, but I’m not bothered about expectations. People pay good money to come and watch us, we’ve given them some reason to have expectations, so if we’re victims of our small bit of success then so be it.

“The bonus scheme here is you get in the top six or you get diddly. That’s where we want to be, we’ll soon find out if that’s feasible or not.”

He continued: “It’s a proper start for us to find out isn’t it? Reading could put comfortably put two good Championship teams out.

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“The teams that have come down look well equipped; Reading, QPR and Wigan. I know Wolves and Blackburn struggled last season, but I can’t see that happening again.

“Whether the rest of us are much of a muchness I don’t know, time will tell.

“Nottingham Forest and Leeds have been adding to their squads, Leicester too. Watford have got their foreign loanees back in, Doncaster seem to be signing everybody.

“There are some really good teams, but we’ve got to aiming for that top six. I’m pleased with the signings, so let’s just see what happens.”

– See today’s EADT and Ipswich Star for all the latest Blues news.

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