‘This is bigger than any derby I’ve played in,’ says Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy - Credit: Archant

Peterborough v Ipswich: IT may be a derby in the loosest sense of the word, but Mick McCarthy says today’s game between Ipswich Town and Peterborough United means more to him than any of the huge city rivalries he has taken part in.

With historic rivals Norwich City plying their trade in the Premier League and Colchester United in League One, the closest thing that the Blues have got to an East Anglian opponent is Posh – a club situated nearly 100 miles away.

This afternoon’s clash at London Road is about much more than that though. It’s about Championship survival and the small matter of revenge after Town were humiliated 7-1 in front of the television cameras on their last visit.

“This game is bigger than any Celtic-Rangers game I played in, or Man United-Man City and Barnsley-Sheffield Wednesday,” said McCarthy.

“It’s bigger than any Wolves-West Brom or Sunderland-Newcastle games I managed, because I’m not there any more. They can crack on with their derbies, this is my derby now.

“It’s not a local derby, by the way. It’s a three-hour journey! But it is our biggest game, because it’s the next one. Then Bolton (at home) will be our biggest game, because that will be the next one.

“It’s a huge derby game for us. We know it’s not Celtic-Rangers or Man United-Man City, but it’s a damn sight more important to me because I’m sat here at 54 years old and this is what matters to me.

Most Read

“All those other games have gone – they’re memories.”

Town could open up an eight-point gap on their second-bottom hosts with victory today, but defeat would see the margin closed to just two – with Peterborough also having a game-in-hand to follow.

Asked if it was just as important to deny Posh all three points today, McCarthy – who was in good spirits at yesterday’s press conference – said: “Is that a long-winded way of saying ‘would I take the draw?’ Yes, I would. I’m being deadly serious; I’m just being humorous about it, that’s all!

“We don’t want to get beat and for Peterborough to get three points. An away point – at any ground – is a good point.”

– See today’s EADT for full match preview.