‘We’re all as bad as each other!’ – Mick McCarthy’s honest assessment of ‘bonkers’ Championship

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy - Credit: Archant

WE’RE all as bad as each other.

That’s was Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy’s honest assessment of the ultra-tight Championship following his side’s goalless draw at Millwall yesterday.

The Blues picked up a solid return of four points from their Easter weekend, but actually ended up slipping backwards – to within three points of the relegation zone – due to some fantastic results for the likes of Wolves, Peterborough, Barnsley, Sheffield Wednesday and Blackpool.

Asked how many points he thinks will be required to beat the drop, McCarthy – whose side are only four points adrift of eighth-place Derby – joked: “A hundred and 33! I don’t know. When I got the job (on November 1) everyone was saying ‘you need 50 points’. Well we’ve got that now and we’re still in it.

“We’ve got four points this weekend and are worse off. It’s bonkers.

“Fifty two points went down in ‘96 (Millwall, as well as Leicester in 2008) and it looks like it’s going to be higher than that. We might still require a couple of wins (from the remaining six games), you never know.

“Why is it so tight? We’re all as bad as each other. Don’t ask me to elaborate on that, I think that just about sums it up!

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“On a given day you’ll get a stand-out performance, but overall it’s much of a muchness. The bottom teams just seem to be the form teams at the moment.”

Reflecting on his side’s fourth goalless away draw this calendar year, McCarthy said: “It wasn’t a very good game, in fact it was pretty poor. It was two teams in the relegation scrap.

“We’ve been there all season long and it’s probably dawning on Millwall that they are in it too.

“Everyone is nervy, the conditions weren’t great – it was blowing a gale and a bouncy old pitch. It wasn’t conducive to a great game of football. And yet there were quite a lot of chances and both teams could have won it.

“I’ll take a point all day long.”

With eight clean sheets having been secured in the last 11 games, he added, with a smile: “If we keep a clean sheet in every one of the last games we’ll stay up, but I’d like us to score a few goals to take the pressure off!”

Town’s run-in reads: Derby (a), Hull (h), Crystal Palace (h), Sheffield Wednesday (a), Birmingham (h) and Burnley (a).

Ipswich have averaged 1.59 points-per-game under Mccarthy’s management (43 points from 27 games). That puts them on course for 59 points, though just one goal scored in seven away games remains a concern.