Mick McCarthy reaction: Ipswich Town start 2015/16 campaign with a trip to Brentford
- Credit: sarah lucy brown
Ipswich Town will start their 14th successive season in the Championship with a trip to Brentford on Saturday, August 8.
The fixture computer has pitted the two teams who lost out in the 2014/15 play-off semi-finals against each other on the opening day – Town having been beaten by Norwich following a sixth-place finish and Brentford having lost to Middlesbrough following their fifth-place finish.
The Blues will than host League Two side Stevenage in the Capital One Cup (August 10/11/12) before hosting Sheffield Wednesday (Saturday, August 15) and Burnley (Tuesday, August 18) in back-to-back league fixtures at Portman Road.
Mick McCarthy’s men end their opening month with a trip to newly-promoted Preston (Saturday, August 22) and home game against Brighton (Saturday, August 29).
Town host newly-relegated QPR on Boxing Day – their first home game on December 26 since 2008 – but then have back-to-back away fixtures to round off the festive period; at Brighton (Monday, December 28) and Burnley (Saturday, January 2).
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Ipswich’s five-game end to the season consists of Sheffield Wednesday (a), Fulham (h), Middlesbrough (a), MK Dons (h) and Derby County (a).
Boss McCarthy told the club website: “It’s going to be a tough start but we had a good result the last time we went there.
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“Both sides are coming into the season having lost in the Play-offs and both will be wanting to push on again.
“It’s a competitive league, the Championship. You’ve got the teams that have come down with their parachute payments and you’ve still got the likes of Fulham and Cardiff who you’d expect to be stronger this time around.
“But I’m excited, definitely!
He added: “I’ve had a lovely break but it’s back to reality now and when the fixtures come out, that’s when you want to get going again.
“We’re back in training in a couple of weeks and the fixtures coming out is a reminder of that. A reminder that there’s work to be done and I’ll be looking forward to getting back with the lads and the staff.”
Having guided the club away from the relegation zone in 2012/13, then overseen a ninth-place finish in 2013/14, McCarthy’s quiet revolution continued with a 78-points, sixth-place finish – followed by a closely-fought play-off semi-final defeat to rivals Norwich. It was the club’s best campaign in a decade.
The Blues boss has issued a hands-off warning regarding wanted players such as Daryl Murphy, Teddy Bishop and Tyrone Mings, while owner Marcus Evans has said he will ‘strive to match market conditions’ this summer.
Town players return to Playford Road at the end of this month before heading to Dublin for a week-long training camp which will end with a friendly against Shelbourne (July 11).
Then comes a trip to Germany, for a game against Fortuna Dusseldorf (July 17), followed by away friendlies against Cambridge United (July 21), Peterborough United (July 25) and Colchester United (July 28).