Mick McCarthy: Capture the imagination and the Ipswich Town fans will return

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy has called on his players to ‘capture the imagination’ as the Blues look to lure stay-away supporters back.

Just 15,276 saw Town defeat Middlesbrough 3-1 on Saturday – with 472 making the long trip from Teeside – the smallest league attendance at Portman Road since December 1999.

And tonight’s clash with Championship new-boys Yeovil, who took on average just 274 fans away with them last season, could set a new low for Town, who boast the highest season-ticket and ‘matchday experience’ prices in the second-tier.

McCarthy conceded that watching Town may not be at the forefront of fans’ minds in such austere times, but is sure supporters can be won over if the Blues can put a winning run together.

“It’s up to us to capture the imagination of the supporters, their desire to come to football matches, by playing like we did against Middlesbrough,” said McCarthy.

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“If they come then great, if they don’t I understand as they have all got other bills to pay and it’s not at the forefront of their minds I would imagine.

“I am not someone that starts getting at supporters.

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“I love the ones that come and we will try and get some more in and love them as well.”

He added: “I think we should be thanking the 15,000 that turned up, it could be 12,000.

“Let’s get some more good performances in. If we do that, you know what, I think more people will turn up and watch us.”

McCarthy has a fully-fit squad to choose from for tonight’s clash with Gary Johnson’s, who have taken just four points from their opening six league games.

“They had a great start beating Millwall away on the opening day,” said McCarthy.

“They then had a couple of indifferent results but they had a great performance on Saturday in the 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday.

“They had 10 men for 45 minutes but they were excellent.”

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