Mick McCarthy targeting a top six finish following shrewd transfer dealings
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy has called upon his new-look squad to target a top six finish this season.
The Blues have finished 14th, 15th, 13th and 15th in their last four seasons and are now heading into their 12th consecutive campaign in the Championship.
But there is a wave of optimism sweeping around Portman Road following a strong finish to last season under McCarthy’s excellent man-management and a summer of shrewd transfer business.
Ten players have been signed, barely a transfer fee has been spent, high-earners Michael Chopra, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Lee Martin are off the wage bill, with Saturday’s 3-3 draw at Notts County meaning there has not been a single defeat in pre-season.
Town may have to travel to two of the sides recently relegated from the Premier League – Reading on Saturday, followed by a trip to QPR on August 17 – but McCarthy is relishing the challenge.
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Asked if a top six spot is the target, given his side ended last season with 53 points from a possible 99, the Blues boss said: “We’ve got to be aiming at that, of course.
“We’ll see. We’ve got a difficult start, but I don’t think anybody will be rubbing their hands thinking ‘happy days, Ipswich are coming here and they’re going to be a soft touch’. Teams know we’re not. We’ll aim for as high as we can finish.
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“I think we’ve done well with our signings. I think we’ve got some good players and can look forward to a good season.”
Meanwhile, the Blues boss confirmed that he will not be making any more additions ahead of the big kick-off. Asked if Chopra’s departure would free up any money to spend, he said: “No, I think I’ve done that money already to be honest with you. It was always in my budget that Michael was going to go – that’s allowed me to get the other players I’ve got.
“The balance of the squad is good. We’ve pretty much got two players for every position.
“We haven’t spent any fees, but I don’t know if we had gone and spent a shed load of money whether we’d have got better players? Probably not.”