We’re out-working everyone, says Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town V Blackpool
Npower Championship
Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town V Blackpool Npower Championship Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy - Credit: Archant

HARD work is not a dirty phrase.

That is the message from Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy after his side ground out a crucial 1-0 home win over Blackpool at the weekend.

The Blues boss is keen to bring some free-flowing and attractive football to Portman Road, with this summer giving him the opportunity to mould his own squad.

For now though he makes no excuses for the fact that his tight-knit group of players – containing limited creative options – will be forced to win ugly in their battle to avoid Championship relegation.

With Michael Chopra’s sublime second-half winner the only moment of quality on Saturday, McCarthy – visibly drained himself after his side’s latest efforts – said: “I think they’re a great bunch of lads. They’ve really bought into everything that I’ve brought in; the organisation and hard work ethos.

“We get the stats back every week and nobody out-works them. The distances covered by the whole team are exceptional. People might say ‘run less and play better’ – and that’s something we’ll work on – but if you work hard every week then you’ve always got a chance.”

It seems a long time ago that the Suffolk side were considered a soft touch under Paul Jewell, with Town’s back four once again the stars of the show on Saturday as the attack-minded Tangerines failed to score for the first time in eight matches.

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With Bristol City and Birmingham both losing, and Wolves and Bolton both drawing, the Blues are now as close to the top half as they are the bottom three in a congested table.

Since McCarthy took charge at Portman Road at the beginning of last November, only Cardiff, Hull and Watford have claimed more points than the Blues (31 from a possible 57).

Watford arrive at Portman Road tomorrow night, with four wins from the final 14 games likely to still be required if the Blues are going to beat the drop.

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