McCarthy reveals bonus scheme which will give his Ipswich Town players added motivation

Teddy Bishop is congratulated after scoring at Bournemouth

Teddy Bishop is congratulated after scoring at Bournemouth

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy has revealed the bonus scheme that will give his players added motivation to remain within the Championship play-off places.

The Blues moved back up to fourth in the table following Saturday’s hard-fought 2-2 draw at second-place Bournemouth, teenage midfielder Teddy Bishop scoring his first senior goal and Daryl Murphy emphatically heading home his 11th of the campaign as the spirited Portman Road side twice came from behind against the best outfit they have faced this season.

McCarthy, ever the pragmatist, often insists that positions in the standings mean little until May. The Yorkshireman will open the papers with a smile this morning though, his team having lost just once in 14 matches.

“Of course I’m not ignoring it (the league table),” said the Blues boss. “It will be nice to open the paper and see us in fourth, not 12th. The lads get a bit of a bonus when they’re in the top six, not when they’re anywhere else. They’ve got to be in a promotion place to get that, so it’s nice for them.”

Town certainly had to dig deep for a point, the Cherries – put together on a far bigger budget – playing plenty of attractive football. Home boss Eddie Howe was not happy, but the Blues do not just possess McCarthy’s trademark qualities of organisation, hard-work and a never-say-die spirit, they also have some added quality about them this season following last year’s ninth-place finish.

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With 20 points from a possible 27 having been claimed at Portman Road, it’s these sort of battling away points which can make all the difference.

“Bournemouth are a really, good team and we’ve had to work damn hard to get a point against them today,” said McCarthy.

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“I say it all the time, every point away from home is a good one – wherever you get it.

“I think it’s a real tough, competitive league this. We’ve gone to Derby and got a point, Nottingham Forest and got a point, come here and got a point. They are all good away points, especially as we’re doing well at home.”

Ipswich head to ninth-place Charlton – a side who have yet to taste defeat in nine league outings at The Valley this season – on Saturday (12.15pm kick-off).

Midfielder Kevin Bru is facing up to a month on the sidelines after suffering ankle ligament damage at Dean Court, centre-back Christophe Berra will be suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season, while Tyrone Mings is a doubt with a dead leg.

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