Mick McCarthy says visit of rock-bottom Rotherham United is a game Ipswich Town have ‘got to win’
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says his team have ‘got to win’ against rock-bottom Championship side Rotherham United at Portman Road tomorrow.
The Millers have claimed just six points from their opening 14 matches and have lost all seven of their away games so far this season.
It’s a golden opportunity for the 17th-place Blues to get back on track following last weekend’s 3-0 loss at table-toppers Newcastle United.
McCarthy does not shy away from the fact the pressure is on his team, just like it was when they beat Burton 2-0 on Suffolk soil last Tuesday, but insists it won’t be easy given the Millers have recently changed manager.
With former Millwall and Wolves boss Kenny Jackett having recently replaced Alan Stubbs at the south Yorkshire side, McCarthy said: ““It’s not going to be easy. They are fighting for their lives.
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“It’s a bit like four years ago when I first came here and we had something like seven points after 13. We went to Birmingham, produced a real scrapping performance, nicked a goal, nicked a 1-0 win and it set us off. That’s what they’ll be looking for.
“Their main aim will be not to be beaten. They had an encouraging game against Reading last weekend, they only lost 1-0 and had quite a lot of chances – some from free-kicks, throw-ins and corners. They’ve got quite a big team.
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“Kenny certainly gets his teams well-organised and hard-working. I see him on the sidelines in his suit looking all smart, but he’s just like the rest of us in terms of what he demands out of his team.
“To be hard-working, to put your foot in… They’ll certainly come here and they will be up for it because of Kenny. He’s had pretty good success with all his teams in the Football League.
“Wolves only missed out on the play-offs to us by a single goal two years ago. He knows what this division is all about.
“It’s a bit like myself when I came here four years ago and we had to get a result at Birmingham. We did and that’s what they’ll be looking for.
“You’re not going to get your way out of danger by playing silky football, that’s for sure. It really will be a bit of a siege mentality, backs-to-the-wall, don’t concede, be hard to beat mentality from them.
“We’ve got to win it though, it’s a game we’ve got to win.”
McCarthy says the fit-again David McGoldrick is “ready to start”, while Jonny Williams is likely to be restricted to a cameo appearance as he continues his own comeback from an ankle problem.
“If they are going to be hard to beat we’ve got to have somebody in the team who can do the damage and beat them,” said the Blues boss.
“There is no way in this world that I’m going to be wide open and completely gung-ho though.
“They came here last year with Neil Warnock, another vastly experienced manager, and they were so hard to break down. Of course it was Besty (Leon Best) that scored the only goal that day (for Rotherham), so maybe he’ll reciprocate on my behalf and score against them this time.”
With Town hosting four teams currently below them in the table in their next six games, McCarthy wants is team to rediscover their Portman Road record of 2014/15. When the Blues finished sixth they had the joint-best home points tally in the division.
With their sole home loss this season a 1-0 defeat to Huddersfield, he said: “In fairness, (Terriers boss) David Wagner alluded to that straight away. He knew it would be a tough game here. In the end a corner kick was the difference that day.
“I don’t think people relish the thought of coming here, but we want to beat teams, not just give them a hard game. We need to get back to that.”