McCarthy calls upon his players to channel their nerves

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy - Credit: Archant

With one of football’s biggest prizes at stake, Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has called upon his players to channel their nerves.

Promotion to the Premier League is now valued at well in excess of £120m following a bumper new television deal and increased parachute payments.

And the Blues are one point below the Championship play-off places with eight games to go, starting with this afternoon’s match at league-leaders Watford.

“There is a hell of a big prize isn’t there?” said McCarthy. “There are only eight games to play and we’ve been in and around it all season.

“It would be ridiculous if I sat here and said there is no nerves, no anxiety.

“Do you think there is any at Derby, or at Norwich, or anywhere else? Of course there is. We all want to get promoted.

“We’d have to have no heart or no emotions at all if we weren’t nervous. That’s the same for everyone. You have to try and overcome that. And you overcome it by winning.

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“There was a bit of anxiety on Tuesday night and we won the game (1-0 at home against Bolton). I’d settle for being anxious against Watford and winning again.”

Asked if a few nerves can be a good thing, the Blues boss replied: “If you can channel them in the right direction, yeah. If you’re sat quivering as a nervous wreck in the dressing room, they’re no good.

“I preferred it when I went out on to the pitch and felt nervous. Actually, nervous is not the right term. That suggests you’re scared and afraid and not wanting to play.

“I don’t know how to describe it really.

“But if I went out there thinking it would be a piece of cake then you end up like a piece of cake with chocolate all over your face.

“If I went out and was conscious of my opposite number then it makes you play better, definitely.”

– Follow @Stuart_Watson on Twitter for live match updates.

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