Mick McCarthy keen for his players to get a Scottish sun tan

St Mirren winger Kenny McLean is congratulated by team mates

St Mirren winger Kenny McLean is congratulated by team mates - Credit: Archant

IPSWICH Town manager Mick McCarthy is keen to play two pre-season fixtures in Scotland this summer.

Talks have already taken place with Scottish Premier League side St Mirren about a potential match, with their left-winger, Kenny McLean, understood to be a potential transfer target.

Asked about the prospect of a match north of the border, McCarthy said: “We’re looking at that. I just thought it would be nice if we could travel on a Friday, play on a Saturday, play on the Tuesday and come back Wednesday. That would be a nice mini trip that doesn’t involve too many nights away.

“We’ll get a good Scottish tan and come back blue! I’ve spoken to St Mirren about it, but it’s not confirmed as yet.”

Ipswich twice went to Eindhoven, Holland under Paul Jewell’s management, while Ireland was the pre-season trip of choice during Roy Keane’s time at the club.

McCarthy took his Sunderland and Wolves sides to Ireland and Germany. And he says there will be another overseas trip, in addition to any Scotland matches.

“We will do something,” said the Blues boss, whose side wrap up their Championship campaign at Burnley on Saturday. “It’s all a big expense though.”

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Asked if there is likely to be the usual local games at the likes of Colchester, Southend, Cambridge and Luton, McCarthy continued: “They are the easy ones to play. I hear from fans ‘we always play the same teams’, well of course we do because we’re miles from anywhere!

“We’re not going to go and stay overnight for a friendly. You have to be conscious that if you’re playing on a Saturday we have a pre-match meal at quarter past 11. You don’t want to be leaving much earlier than nine o’clock to get there.

“The idea of actually going away, getting some kip and preparing properly for games is the right thing to do.”

He added: “Let me just clear something up – I hate pre-season. I’ve had pre-seasons where we’ve lost most of them and had a great season and I’ve had pre-seasons where we’ve won most of them and then had a poor start and poor season.

“I hate it. I hated it as a player and I hate it even more as a manager.”

Town traditionally finish their pre-season with a home game against a foreign or Premier League side, but that may not be the case this time around.

McCarthy explained: “We’re having the pitch done up so it’s not going to be ready to play too many home fixtures.

“Everywhere I’ve been we’ve always looked for a home fixture to finish your pre-season on, but that doesn’t really makes sense thinking about it.

“If your first league game of the season is at home, why would you want your home fans in the week before to watch you get slapped against Valencia or somebody? You might want to keep them raring to go for the league.

“To be honest though, I don’t really care what we do.”

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