McCarthy calls upon Ipswich Town supporters to turn up at Portman Road with a positive attitude tonight

Steve Bruce and Mick McCarthy share a joke before kick-off at Hull last October

Steve Bruce and Mick McCarthy share a joke before kick-off at Hull last October

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy hopes supporters turn up at Portman Road tonight with a positive attitude ahead of a crunch clash with Championship table-toppers Hull.

Four defeats in five games has led to much debate among fans about the club’s spending policy, style of play and expectations.

McCarthy criticised Blues supporters for ‘feeling bad before a ball was kicked’ after the 2-1 home win over Reading earlier this month and today he has called upon them to help his injury-hit side during a difficult period.

With Town looking to extend their incredible run of 16 successive Tuesday night home victories, he said: “We’ve had a tough time of late, but we have to remain positive and keep going – that’s us as a team and the supporters.

“Me trying to jolly people up probably won’t make a blind bit of difference. I know the start of the game can change peoples’ minds. Those that were on the fence, or 50/50, it’s down to us to get that positivity back.

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“I hope the fans are a bit forgiving in their thought process though. If it doesn’t start well then they can give us a lift and help us finish strongly like we have done so often with late winners.”

He continued: “Of course people will say ‘the manager can say what he likes and drivel on’, but we are only just outside the play-offs, we did get in the play-offs with the last kick, of the last game, in the last minute of last season, so who’s to say it won’t happen again?

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“We’ve had a tough time of late on the back of losing some really good players out of the team. That doesn’t help. I’m not whinging about it, but it’s as obvious as the nose on my face that when you lose those kind of players it’s going to make things difficult.

“We have to remain positive, and consistent, and go into the game against Hull thinking we can beat them.

“There are other teams not having it all their own way at the moment – Middlesbrough and Derby. It’s a matter of keeping going.

“Yes, people get disappointed, I hope they turn up on Tuesday night with a positive attitude and that we can play well and win the game.”

On Town’s Tuesday night winning home record, which stretches back to April 2013, McCarthy said: “Midweek fixtures under lights – you usually get a better atmosphere. Whatever it is, it does give the game a little extra edge. I don’t know what it is, whether people have finished work and had a beer, but it’s just a great atmosphere. Let’s hope it works tomorrow.”

Asked if he felt the club was continuing to progress, following league finishes of 14th, ninth and sixth, he said: “I don’t want to say ‘we’ve made progress’ and then someone looks up the table from this time last year and says ‘actually you are in a worse position’.

“What I would say is that if we’d had David McGoldrick, Teddy Bishop, Ryan Fraser and Skusey all available all season then I think we’d have continued to make progress.

“As it is, it’s just been a little bit up and down. And there are a lot of games to make it go up again.”

He added: “I’m not actually aware of people moaning and whinging. I think we’ve been supported particularly well actually. They are probably more tolerant than other clubs’ fans are.

“We’ve all had good runs, bad runs and indifferent runs – each and every one of us – and it will continue that way for the next 15 games. Let’s hope we can start another good run soon.”

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