Mick McCarthy refuses to be drawn on Ipswich Town’s top six chances in ‘evil’ Championship

Mick McCarthy urges on his team from the sideline at The Valley

Mick McCarthy urges on his team from the sideline at The Valley - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy sees no reason why his side cannot challenge for a top six finish in the “evil” Championship.

Saturday’s hard-fought 1-0 win at Charlton moved the Blues to within four points of the play-off places ahead of back-to-back home games against Blackburn (tomorrow) and Huddersfield (Saturday).

“People probably thought that Charlton would make it back-to-back home wins, but we came here thinking we could win,” said McCarthy, who saw his side secure only their third clean sheet of the season to ensure Tommy Smith’s fifth minute header proved to be the winner.

“Any one of us can beat anyone else – that’s why it makes it such a tough, evil league to play in.

“It will be just as close as it was last season, it will need 50-odd points to stay up again probably. This league is just bonkers. Doncaster lost here in midweek and then won at QPR today, Yeovil have gone to Watford and beaten them.

“Can we make the play-offs? I’ve never ruled it in and never ruled it out. We’ll just get as many points as we can.

“That’s where I’m at.”

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Blues left-back Aaron Cresswell said: “It was a massive three points and they were fully deserved over the 90 minutes.

“It was a bit of a scrappy game, but any away game in the Championship is never going to be easy.

“It doesn’t matter whether you play top of the league or bottom of the league, it’s always going to be a grind.

“We’ve now got to target winning the next two at home. And if we can keep picking up points away from home then we should be there or thereabouts come the final run-in.”

Meanwhile, Cresswell – who took his number of assists for the season to eight after returning from a two-match ban – praised the travelling army of 2,654 Blues fans at The Valley.

“They were louder than the Charlton fans,” he said. “I know it’s not too far away, but to get two and a half thousand away fans – at any level, even in the Premier League – is fantastic.”

– Mick McCarthy’s pre-match press confrence is at 1.30pm today. Log on later for all the latest team news.

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