McCarthy hopes Fulham won’t be able to guess his line-up
Mick McCarthy hopes that Fulham are scratching their heads about the Ipswich Town team they will face at Craven Cottage this afternoon (3pm ko).
The Blues boss has been fiercely loyal to his preferred personnel for much of an impressive campaign. However, following a jaded start to 2015, he made five changes to his starting line-up ahead of Tuesday night’s home game against Sheffield Wednesday.
Fresh legs sparked Town back into life, a 2-1 come-from-behind win lifting them back up to fourth in the Championship table.
Now McCarthy has a welcome selection headache. Did the likes of Stephen Hunt and Teddy Bishop do enough to keep their places? Will fit-again striker David McGoldrick go straight back into the team? Will new signing Dylan Connolly be involved at some stage? Could Jonathan Parr start on the left of midfield following an impressive second half display there?
“There are plenty of possibilities,” admitted McCarthy. “Jonny Parr is a full-back but he’s looks equally comfortable wide left when I’ve put him there.
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“I’ve got 18 outfield players to play the rest of the games, unless I get somebody else on loan, so it’s important that I know that I have options like that.
“It might be good for us if Fulham are wondering what I will do. Generally we have a good idea of each others’ teams, but on the odd occasion you get their team-sheet and you’re not quite sure of their shape then it can throw you.”
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Around 4,000 Town fans will be making the trip to west London today – the club’s biggest away league following in a decade.
“I was amazed at the support we had at Rotherham (1,879 watched a 2-0 loss),” said McCarthy. “Let’s hope we can give the away fans something to shout about this time.
“After that game we were getting to the stage where we really needed a win. We won and now it’s important to consolidate that.
“We’ll be running out of games shortly, we’re coming to the thin end of the wedge, so we need the points. We’re still aiming for the top two and we certainly don’t want to drop out of the top six, that’s for sure.”