“It was a good work-out” – Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy on German adventure
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy believes his side have got a lot out of their pre-season trip to Germany, the Blues losing 4-3 to Fortuna Dusseldorf tonight.
Freddie Sears and Brett Pitman both scored sublime goals, while new Arsenal loanee Ainsley Maitland-Niles was also on target in a topsy-turvy match played in searing heat.
On the pitch it was a big step up in standard, following a highly-comfortable 6-0 win at Irish side Shelbourne the previous weekend, while off the field more than 600 travelling fans thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
“It was a very good workout,” enthused McCarthy. “You always want to win, but the scores in pre-season don’t really bother me and I can just about tolerate getting beat.
“Both halves were extremely difficult because it was so hot and they are about three weeks in front of us in terms of their preparations.
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“It’s been a great trip. Ulli (chairman of the Fortuna Blues Supporters’ Club) has really been looking after us. We think he’s an Irish fella actually because he’s got a bit of an accent and it’s certainly been an Irish welcome, although he assures me he’s German!
“The hotel has been great, the training facility, just everything about it.”
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On the special link-up between the two clubs, he joked: “I’m trying to work out why the fact that both teams were beaten by Barcelona (in the 1978/79 European Cup Winners’ Cup) links us!
“Whatever it is, it’s a lovely bond between the two clubs. There was a great turn out today and our fans were amazing.
“We’ll pop into the party now for an hour and maybe have a beer.
“Ulli just said if we get promoted next year and they get promoted then maybe we could play each other as Premier League clubs at our place next summer. Wouldn’t that be lovely? That would be utopia.”
On the absence of Jonathan Parr, he explained: “He got a bit of a sore thigh from being in Ireland and we thought it was better for him to rest it now and be ready for the season.”
And on Daryl Murphy signing a new contract this week, he said: “Brilliant. I think that’s put to bed now any speculation. I’ve had people asking to loan him, no-one’s asked me directly about buying him, but there’s been lots of interest. Never did we want to sell though.
“We wanted to keep him and I think the feeling was mutual with Daryl. He’s signed a new contract now and we’re absolutely thrilled.
“We’ve got four really good strikers. Murph and Didz (David McGoldrick) were a real proper partnership, but Murph and Freddie (Sears) were good too and I can see Brett (Pitman) linking up with any of them. It’s a nice problem to have.”
Cameron Stewart – who wasn’t selected for the trip to Ireland and is ‘available’ – played the second half against Dusseldorf.
“I thought he did alright tonight, I thought he did well,” said the Blues boss. “I thought he showed his commitment and played well. I was pleased with him. And that’s the only way he’s ever going to get back in my team or attract interest from elsewhere.”
Town travel to Cambridge United to continue their pre-season preparations on Tuesday night and two key players will be joining back up with the squad.
“Christophe (Berra) and Didzy probably will, but not Murph because he’s had injuries in pre-season before and we don’t want that to happen again,” explained McCarthy.