Mick McCarthy hopes second game syndrome strike for Ian Holloway when QPR visit Ipswich Town
- Credit: PA
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy hopes second game syndrome hits Ian Holloway at Portman Road on Saturday.
Town have won just one of their last six games at Portman Road and were booed off the field following both the 2-2 draw with Rotherham and last Saturday’s televised 2-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest.
QPR, meanwhile, arrive in Suffolk rejuvenated following the return of Holloway to the Loftus Road hot-seat. The charismatic Bristolian, who was an R’s player in the Premiership and spent five years as their boss from 2001-2006, has been an immensely popular appointment among supporters following the sacking of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.
Holloway made his players watch Samuel L Jackson films for inspiration, whipped fans up into a frenzy and they duly beat Norwich 2-1 at home last weekend.
Does McCarthy see similarities between the way he masterminded a 1-0 win at Birmingham when first taking over Town four years ago?
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“Yeah and we lost five at Crystal Palace in the next one,” he quipped. Holloway, ironically, was the Palace boss that day.
“I got a real boost when I first came in here, but I didn’t in my second game. I hope that’s the case with QPR.
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“Am I suggesting we will win 5-0? No, far from it. I’m hoping that, if history repeats itself, that if you get a good result in your first game then you get beat in your next one.
“I don’t think that QPR are as in as parlous state as we were in terms of being bottom of the league with seven points though. They’ve got good players and will be coming here breathing fire and brimstone having beaten Norwich last week.”
On former Bristol Rovers, Plymouth, Leicester, Blackpool and Millwall boss Holloway, McCarthy said: “We get on very, very well and it’s nice to have a bit of mutual respect for the jobs that each of us has done and do.
“Without any shadow of a doubt he’s better than that just that lively persona that people focus on. He loves his football and he’s deadly serious about it.
“We played Millwall when it was his first (home) game with them and, although it only ended up 1-0, they absolutely battered us. I think everywhere he goes he gets a great response. It will be a tough game.”
The Blues boss added: “Ian will be saying ‘get down there, have a fast start, the crowd will turn on them, they won’t be playing with any confidence and we’ve got a chance of beating them’. We’ve not lost any confidence though. I’m as level-headed as ever.”
Holloway said: “I don’t see it as Mick being in a difficult situation there at the moment.
“They were in a difficult situation when he arrived there a number of years ago, when they were cut adrift at the bottom of the table. That was a remarkable piece of management.
“They’ve competed ever since then and Mick deserves credit for that. He’s one of my favourite people in the game.”
In the 13 meetings between the two bosses, Holloway has beaten McCarthy’s sides only three times – once each at Blackpool, Crystal Palace and Millwall – with five draws and five defeats.