‘We’d like to build on our home form’ – McCarthy previews Reading visit
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy is hoping for some home tonic over the festive period.
Having played six of their last nine games away – travelling to places like Cardiff, Hull and Middlesbrough – the Blues now have five of their next seven matches at Portman Road, starting with today’s Championship visit of Reading.
Town won 15 of their home league games when finishing sixth in 2014/15 – the joint-best record in the division – but there were just nine league wins on Suffolk soil in 15/16 (7th) and eight in 16/17 (16th).
Form at Portman Road has been much improved this time around, with six wins from 10.
“It wasn’t great here last year, but the team is better than it was last year,” said McCarthy, whose team beat Nottingham Forest 4-2 in their last home outing.
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“Of course we’d like to build on that home form. We are geographically challenged, travelling five or six hours up to places like Middlesbrough, but I’ve always taken the view that they have all got to come here.”
He continued: “I’m fully aware of where our main body of support comes from, it comes from Portman Road and they want to see us play well.
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“I guess they want to see us win, first and foremost, but playing well and winning is a real tonic for everybody.
Reading finished third last season before losing to Huddersfield in the Play-Off Final. After a slow start to this season, Jaap Stam’s pass-masters have picked up of late with a five-game unbeaten run.
“Brentford were very much possession based, Nottingham Forest were very much possession based, Derby were very much possession based… we did alright in those games didn’t we?” said McCarthy.
“Look, there are different styles and no one style is always successful. A lot of styles depend on what players you have got. It’s doing the best you can with the players you’ve got, not any one style in my view.”
Town fans have been urged to take part in a minute’s applause, in the 67th minute, as a mark of respect for club stalwart Dick Parker after the academy kitman died at the age of 67 at the weekend.
“It would be a nice touch because everybody loved him,” said McCarthy.