McCarthy not ready to play the Ipswich Town kids just yet
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says he’s not ready to give up on this season and start blooding a few youngsters just yet.
The Blues’ top-six hopes have faded fast in recent weeks with a dire run of form leaving them seven points adrift of Championship play-off places with six games to go.
Tuesday night’s goalless draw with Charlton made it three dull displays at Portman Road in a row and left many supporters calling for McCarthy to use tomorrow’s visit of mid-table Brentford as a chance to begin experimenting ahead of next season.
Highly-rated academy midfielder Andre Dozzell was on the bench recently, while fellow youngsters Josh Emmanuel, Myles Kenlock, Kundai Benyu and Adam McDonnell having been around the first-team this season.
Having previously indicated a few of the above might get a chance before the end of the season, McCarthy said: “Now’s not the time for them. The play-offs are still within reach. If we win on Saturday then we go to Sheffield Wednesday and win there... Who knows what could happen?
“It doesn’t look like we’ll do it at the moment. It looks pie in the sky on some of the recent performances, but if we win the next two it would all be open again.
“Let’s concentrate on that. If it does become out of reach then, yes, that (playing some youngsters) would be a consideration of course.”
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Asked if that meant that winning remained his sole focus, he replied: “I sometimes wonder if that sense of wanting to win is still as acute as it was for me when I was 18. Days like Tuesday remind me it is.
“On Wednesday afternoon when I finally spoke to (my wife) Fiona she said I’d been grumpy. I didn’t think I had, but I hadn’t spoken to her so I wouldn’t know!
“Winning is absolutely what still drives me. I don’t like being ordinary. I don’t like being 10th, eighth, even sixth. Of course in relation to other clubs it’s not ordinary, but it’s still disappointing because we finished sixth last season and we’re not doing as well.”
Is entertaining fans a consideration of his ahead of the weekend? “That is always in my mind,” said McCarthy. “I didn’t come away from the last three games thinking ‘oh I really enjoyed that’. Unfortunately the opposition come here and don’t worry about whether our fans are going to be entertained though.
“I always find that winning placates the fans. If you win, no matter how you play, people like it.”