McCarthy targeting perfect week at Portman Road following frustration on the road

Town manager Mick McCarthy and his assistant Terry Connor.
Picture: Steve Waller
www.stephenw

Town manager Mick McCarthy and his assistant Terry Connor. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy concedes that his team may need the perfect week at Portman Road if they are to undo the frustration of last week’s time on the road.

The Blues host Paul Lambert’s 16th-placed Blackburn Rovers tonight (7.45pm ko), then welcome Neil Warnock’s relegation-battling Rotherham on Saturday.

And it looks vital that they claim the maximum points on offer if they are to give themselves a chance of securing a play-off place following last Tuesday’s 2-2 draw at rock-bottom Bolton and Saturday’s lacklustre 1-0 loss at rivals Cardiff.

Town finished sixth with 78 points last season and, on average, it takes 74 to finish in that position. Realistically, therefore, at least six wins are required from the final 10 matches.

“We want six points from the two games – that’s what we need, I think, to be involved,” said McCarthy. “It’s important to pick up points now and not leave it to the end because we’ve got to go to Derby, Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday in April and May.

“The games that we have before those are therefore vitally important because those three will be really tough games.”

He continued: “Just because Blackburn have had a struggle and been inconsistent, it doesn’t mean they are a poor team. Likewise we’ve got Rotherham coming who have just beaten Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough and drawn with Derby – they are fighting for their lives. It will be two tough games.

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“But we are running out of games and we need to be winning matches. I have no idea what the tally will be to get into the top-six on the last day of the season, but we need to start picking up points and now would be a good time to start.

“There are 10 games to play, 30 points to play for and we need to get as many as we can by hook or by crook.”

Asked if he had a message for the Town fans ahead of these two vital home clashes, McCarthy replied: “I don’t really do messages. All I can say is that we will go out and try and win the games. That’s what we’ve done in every single game, in every single week, in every season I’ve had here.

“I don’t ever set up to go and get a draw, we need to win, we need points out of these two home games and we need to be positive about it. If that’s my message, then you’ve just heard it loud and clear.”

He added: “We’ve got to play, entertain them and get them going. It’s a two-way street that. It’s not just about the fans sticking with us, it’s about us getting them going in the first place.”

– See today’s EADT and Ipswich Star for full match preview. Log on at 6.45pm for team news and live match updates.

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