Mccarthy: I’d take draws at Doncaster and Bournemouth now
Doncaster v Ipswich: Blues boss Mick McCarthy says he’d take two draws from the festive trips to struggling Doncaster and Bournemouth.
The Blues are unbeaten in five matches and could potentially break into the play-off places over the coming days.
This afternoon they face a Doncaster side that are 20th in the Championship table, having lost their last three matches and conceded three goals in each of those defeats. On Sunday, the Blues travel to Bournemouth, the newly-promoted side currently 15th in the standings.
McCarthy has always maintained that ‘there is no such thing as a bad away point’ and, with his team unbeaten in six on their travels, he wouldn’t be displeased with two stalemates heading into the new year.
“If they want to send us a point each from Doncaster and Bournemouth right now then I won’t even bother going, I’ll sit at home over Christmas!” he joked.
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“We’re going to try and win the games, of course we are. We might win one and lose one. We want to win them both, but I can’t guarantee it.
“I’m very pragmatic, as everyone knows by now. We’ll go there, try and play well and win the games, but Doncaster are no mugs by any stretch of the imagination and Bournemouth have had some good results as well.”
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Ipswich are currently three points adrift off the top six having followed up three successive wins (against Charlton, Blackburn and Huddersfield) with draws against Nottingham Forest and Watford.
Would McCarthy have taken this current situation had it been offered to him in pre-season?
“I’d have hoped that we might have had more points.
“But if you’d have said we were going to be three points off the play-offs at this stage then yeah, from where we were last season, I’d have probably taken it.
“If you had asked me after the first five games (one win, one draw and three defeats) if I would be happy with where we are now then I’d have definitely said yes.
“I’m sort of quietly happy with where we are. We’re within striking distance of the play-offs. If we got into them and stayed there it would be a remarkable achievement.
“We’re not getting carried away though. You can easily lose three on the bounce in this league and suddenly be looking down rather than up. That’s why I said Saturday was a valuable point.”
– See today’s EADT for full match preview. Follow @Chris_Brammer on Twitter for live match updates.