Mick McCarthy: Momentum can be a powerful force

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy - Credit: Ashley Pickering

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy is keen to see his side build up an early head of steam following their impressive 2-1 home win over Fulham on the opening weekend of the new Championship season.

The Blues may have been dumped out of the Capital One Cup at league One side Crawley Town on Tuesday night, but at least seven first team players have returned to fitness ahead of tomorrow’s league match at Reading.

With a trip to Birmingham next Tuesday quickly followed by the visit of arch-rivals Norwich City next Saturday, the Blues boss said: “Momentum is important at any stage of the season.

“Where does it come from? How do you get it? How do you lose it? A goal can give you momentum, a win can give you momentum…

“It can be lost at any moment too. It is a powerful force, there’s no question.

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“It’s always nice to get it at the start of the season, but look at Crystal Palace a few years back when they got promoted – it was November before they got some momentum.

“I’ll take it whenever it comes. Keeping it is the hard part.”

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McCarthy made eight, largely enforced, changes to his starting line-up in midweek, but has been boosted by the return to fitness of Tyrone Mings, Jonathan Parr, Tommy Smith, Paul Anderson, Luke Hyam, Daryl Murphy and David McGoldrick.

The latter – who made a triumphant return to competitive action last weekend, six months after requiring surgery on his knee – could start at The Madjeski Stadium.

Cole Skuse (foot) is a doubt, while Cameron Stewart (jaw) and Stephen Hunt (calf) remain sidelined.

By contrast, Reading are without several key players.

Centre-back Sean Morrison has been given permission to speak to Cardiff, while Jem Karacan, Hal Robson-Kanu, Garath McCleary, Stephen Kelly and Danny Williams are all in the treatment room.

“It’s good to have more options because this is a big week for us,” said McCarthy.

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