‘Nobody’s looking at the fixtures and wincing’ – McCarthy relishing five tough games in 15 days

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy. Photo: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy believes his team have the character and quality to deal with the major acid test ahead.

Following a two-week international break, the Blues – who have generally beaten the strugglers and come up short against the leading sides to sit eighth in the Championship table with a game in hand on most – now face a tough-looking five games in 15 days.

It starts at lowly Hull City (20th in table) tomorrow afternoon, followed by the Wednesday night visit of Sheffield Wednesday (11th), quickfire trips to Aston Villa (6th) and Derby (7th), then a home game against Nottingham Forest (9th).

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“For me personally, for the team, for the club, it will tell us a lot about us over the next five games,” admitted McCarthy.

“There’s never an easy game in this division, we know that, but these do look tough fixtures that we’ve got coming up with the travelling as well.

“We’ll concentrate on Hull first. It always makes the rest of them slightly easier if you get something in the first game.

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“It will be a test, physically and mentally, and it’s about standing up to that test. We’ve got the players who can cope with it.”

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The Blues boss, who has admitted he might have to rotate his squad over the coming days, continued: “Nobody’s looking at the fixtures and wincing.

“I think we’re looking at them and embracing them and looking forward to playing them because they are good games.

“We might not be the best, most efficient football team in this league, but wow you don’t half have to batter us down to beat us.

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“And make sure you do because if you don’t we’ll keep going and, as we saw two weeks ago (3-0 home win against Preston), we’ve got quality when it counts. I like the qualities that my team has got.

“I hope that the character my players have has been evident all season long and that it remains on show in these next five games because it’s going to be tough. There are times you have to rally round and keep playing and keep scrapping away.

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“But I go back to the end of last season when it got tough; we could have blinked and we could have been out of the league, but we didn’t, we stuck with it and we got the results we needed.”

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