McCall wants Town to bounce back

IPSWICH Town legend Steve McCall is looking for the Blues to show their 'bouncebackability' against his old club Plymouth Argyle on Saturday, writes Derek Davis.

IPSWICH Town legend Steve McCall is looking for the Blues to show their 'bouncebackability' against his old club Plymouth Argyle on Saturday, writes Derek Davis.

McCall has played and coached at both clubs and knows Town will need to show every ounce of their character and make full use of home advantage to beat the plucky Pilgrims.

He is looking for Town to use the disappointment of being humiliated by League One side Doncaster Rovers to raise their game again.

McCall said: "We know we let ourselves down on Tuesday and we will be looking to put that right.

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"We were disappointed with the team effort. We had a lot of possession but not many chances and we are looking to bounce back on Saturday. We will need to improve our finishing, work rate and quality of passing to beat Plymouth."

Recently promoted to first-team coach, as well as looking after the reserves and scouting for Town, McCall made his Ipswich debut as an 18-year-old in the UEFA Cup against Skied Olso in 1979.

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After spells with Sheffield Wednesday and Carlisle United, McCall joined Argyle as a player in March 1992, playing more than 100 games for them before moving to south-east rivals Torquay United for two years.

He returned to Home Park as assistant to Kevin Hodges until the duo made way for Paul Sturrock in October 2000.

The Pilgrims' progress since then has been incredible as they won two promotions and now with Bobby Williamson at the helm are in the top half of the Championship table.

After scouting a couple of their games this season, McCall is convinced they have not changed the style which has made them successful although the goals are beginning to dry up.

He said: "They are all about togetherness and team work and that is important.

"They are finding it tougher to find goals but that is key as you go up divisions. Chances come thick and fast lower down the divisions and as you come up teams are stronger defensively and when you are not sticking them away they are being punished."

McCall has been impressed at the way the club has developed since the regime in the boardroom changed and the city is getting behind the club.

He said: "As a club they have come on a long way. Under the old chairman things went stale and Plymouth was a disillusioned place but the current chairman and directors have got on with the council and have had the stadium rebuilt, which shows what can be done with togetherness."

The former defender, who made more than 300 Town appearances after graduation through the youth system and won a UEFA Cup medal, is expecting home advantage to play a part for Town.

While Argyle struggle away from home, the Blues have a 100% home record at Portman Road since last May.

McCall can remember those horrendous coach journeys he had to endure as Plymouth travelled from the Devon coast.

He said: "It is a definite disadvantage travelling four hours just to get to civilisation. After a five-hour coach journey it is difficult to motivate players and their home results are far better than away.

"That said they did not play during the week and will travel up to a hotel the day before the game.

"It is still up to us to press home the advantage. We have been very positive at home and scored plenty of goals. We just need to make sure we pick up the performance after Tuesday."

The new responsibilities ensure McCall is a busy man and after overseeing his reserve side draw 1-1 in a friendly against Colchester United's second string yesterday afternoon, he was straight in the car to go and scout next week's Championship opponents Coventry City in their Carling Cup game against Spurs.

The Town reserves drew 1-1 in a game which saw the Bowditch brothers, Ben and Dean, pitched against each other for the first time in their professional careers.

Dean Bowditch was off the pitch when replacement Billy Clarke put Town one up after 50 minutes, he also had a shot saved off the line after Daniel Flack rattled the woodwork.

The U's equalised through Jamie Guy in the 69th minute after the striker returned from a loan spell with Ridgeons League First Division side Tiptree United, where he had scored five goals in three games.

n Former Plymouth boss Paul Sturrock, who was sacked by Southampton earlier this season, is set to be announced as the new manager of Sheffield Wednesday today.

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