Mick McCarthy says Ipswich Town’s home form will be key in Championship play-off push

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy believes the Blues’ home form will be key, ahead of tonight’s crunch home Championship clash with struggling Charlton.

However, the Town boss, whose eighth-placed side are five points adrift of the play-offs with seven games left, does not think it will take the 78 points Ipswich required last season, to finish in that final play-off spot.

The Blues have amassed 59 points so far and, with 21 left to play for, have a mixed bag of fixtures to contend with.

After tonight’s game with second-from-bottom Charlton – the Addicks six points adrift of safety – the Blues face winnable home games against relegation-threatened Fulham and MK Dons, as well as struggling Brentford, on Saturday.

In contrast, their remaining away games see them face top-six sides Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough and Derby.

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Asked whether Town would require at least five wins and a draw to finish in the top six, McCarthy, who will have fit-again Teddy Bishop amongst his options on the substitutes bench tonight – the midfielder having missed the entire season through injury – said: “I am not sure.

“We have got Derby, Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday at the top, but I looked at all the (their rivals’) fixtures and they’re all tough games.

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“No one has an easy run-in. Charlton, Fulham, Brentford and MK Dons are down at the bottom end of the league, but since when have they been easy to play against?

“Quite a few of us have got to play each other, I don’t think it will take 78 points like last year.”

Town have lost five games at home this season and McCarthy added: “We could win all three away games, that’s not beyond the realms of possibility, but the likelihood is we need the points at home, of course.”

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