Mick McCarthy hopes his good friend Kevin Davies is kept quiet tonight

Jay Tabb and Kevin Davies in action.

Jay Tabb and Kevin Davies in action. - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy hopes his good friend Kevin Davies is kept quiet on and off the pitch in tonight’s FA Cup Third Round replay at Preston North End.

The veteran striker has never played under McCarthy’s management, but a mutual respect turned into friendship after a recent golfing holiday.

Davies sent a text message to McCarthy as soon as his League One side were drawn at Portman Road which read ‘I’m coming to get you!’ And he was true to his word, scoring the equaliser in the 1-1 draw which forced tonight’s return match at Deepdale.

Now McCarthy is desperate to avoid the 36-year-old one-cap England front man gaining any more bragging rights by spearheading a victory for the lower league side tonight.

“We’ve never worked together, but I spent a week on holiday with him and his folks,” revealed the Blues boss. “We played golf for a week and it was fantastic. Me and Kev played all week together in a four-ball with Moyesy (Manchester United manager David Moyes) and (ex-Scotland international) Gary McAllister.

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“He’s a great guy. In any line of work you have competitors who you have respect for because of who they are and how they are. I guess our friendship grew from there.

“Kev is still an excellent player. I thought he played very well down here. He’s still got plenty of energy and he’s such a good target man. He can hold it up and bring others into play.”

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Having made seven changes to his starting line-up for the original tie, McCarthy will once again field a number of fringe players tonight. With Luke Chambers (hamstring), Aaron Cresswell (knee), Cole Skuse (dead leg), Anthony Wordsworth (tonsillitis), Daryl Murphy (thigh) and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (hamstring) all not travelling, the academy trio of Kyle Hammond, Byron Lawrence and Matthew Clarke will be on the bench.

Tonight’s victors will travel to Nottingham Forest for a Friday night (January 24) fourth round tie.

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

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