Mick McCarthy hopes his hometown club Barnsley beat the drop – but there will be no room for sentiment today

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy sincerely hopes his hometown club, Barnsley, can pull off another great escape this season – but there will be no room for sentiment when he takes his side to Oakwell this afternoon.

The Tykes have not finished above 17th in the Championship table since returning to the second tier in 2006. The last two campaigns they have finished just one place above the drop zone, with last season’s survival going right down to the wire on a dramatic last day.

Once again the South Yorkshire club find themselves struggling at the wrong end of the table heading into the run-in. With just four wins from 27 games they are second-bottom and five points adrift of safety.

There have been signs of a revival under new boss Danny Wilson of late though. And Barnsley – who played Ipswich off the park in the second-half of a 1-1 draw at Portman Road back in November – have reason to believe that today could prove to be the catalyst for another spectacular comeback.

“Of course I’d like to see Danny Wilson get them out of trouble because he’s a mate of mine and he’s managing Barnsley, but I don’t want that to be at my expense this weekend,” said McCarthy, who made more than 250 appearances for his hometown club as a teenager.

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“I go back there wanting to win – that’s all I think about.”

The Blues boss – whose side are just four points adrift of the play-off places – continued: “They had a great run at the end of last season. Twice we’ve played them down here and on both occasions they murdered us in the second half (this fixture ending 1-1 on the last three occasions).

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“They’ve had a change of manager with David Flitcroft leaving and Danny taking over. If anybody can get them out of it then Danny Wilson can. I sincerely hope he does, but I reiterate – not at my expense.

“Will they do it? It will require as good a run, as amazing a run, as they had at the end of last season.

“I’d like them to stay up, but I’m more concerned about us getting in the top six to be honest with you.”

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