Mick McCarthy admits he misses the Premier League spotlight

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy. Photo: Andrew Patridge

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy. Photo: Andrew Patridge - Credit: Andrew Partridge

Mick McCarthy admits he misses the Premier League spotlight.

Ipswich Town face Wolves in a televised match at Molineux this lunch-time (12.15pm, Sky Sports).

The perfect day – victory, followed by a defeat for Brentford at home against Bolton – would all but secure a Championship play-off place. The reverse scenario would see a four-way scrap for fifth and sixth spots once again tighten up with just two games to play.

Blues boss McCarthy, who led both Wolves and Sunderland to second-tier titles, says he is ‘loving, thriving and revelling’ in the challenge of taking Town back into the top-flight following a 13-year absence.

“I miss not being in the Premier League. I’d love to be in the Premier League again,” said McCarthy, who had the distinction of being the first Wolves manager in 30 years to maintain the club’s top-flight position for two successive seasons and led the Republic of Ireland to the last 16 of the 2002 World Cup in the wake of the infamous Roy Keane fall-out.

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“This is a busy day in terms of media – we’ve got, what, nine or 10 of you? Normally it’s three or four. I miss those big press conferences for big games, the interest and being seen on Sky and Match of the Day week-in, week-out.

“I don’t necessarily mean me personally being on it, more the general interest in the games you’re involved in. You get a few seconds of coverage when you’re in the Championship. Sometimes you don’t even get a report in some of the papers.

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“The difference in interest between the Championship and the Premier League is massive. And I would love it if some of my players got to enjoy that profile because their deserve it.

“Whoever gets there this year is certainly going to have earned it and will deserve it.”

Wolves boss Kenny Jackett said: “The stakes are high but we should relish that really. We all want to get into the Premier League. I think for us to really bring the last two games into play we need a positive result against Ipswich.”

– See today’s EADT for full match preview. Follow @Stuart_Watson on Twitter for live match updates.

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