Mick McCarthy taking nothing for granted ahead of a trio of big fixtures
- Credit: Archant
Charlton v Ipswich: Blues boss Mick McCarthy is taking nothing for granted heading into a trio of fixtures which many supporters will have labelled ‘winnable’.
The Blues play at 17th-place Charlton tomorrow before welcoming Blackburn (14th) and Huddersfield (13th) to Portman Road next Tuesday and Saturday respectively.
It provides a golden opportunity for the Suffolk side – currently 12th in the Championship table – to close a six-point gap on the play-off places.
McCarthy says his team’s opponents will be thinking exactly the same thing too though.
“I don’t think Charlton will be in any kind of relegation trouble this year,” said the Blues boss.
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“I watched them on Tuesday night (in a 2-0 home win over Doncaster) and they had a real good strike force in (Simon) Church and (Yann) Kermorgant. Cameron Stewart was excellent wide right and the goal Dale Stephens got was an amazing strike. I thought they were a real threat.
“This will be a tough game for us because having seen the way they played they’ll be up for this.
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“I know our fans will be looking at this game, followed by two home matches, as a big opportunity to climb the table, but Charlton – who can go level on points with us – probably targeted these two games, Doncaster and Ipswich at home, as a real chance to get back-to-back wins themselves. They’ll be fancying it.”
Ipswich recorded their first away league victory of the season, at the eighth attempt, courtesy of a last-gasp winner at Blackpool recently.
McCarthy’s switch to an attacking 4-3-3 formation for the second half of that match proved to be the catalyst for the turnaround, but the Blues boss reverted to 4-4-2 for last weekend’s 2-1 home defeat to Leicester City.
“Every game we’ve played 4-4-2 and we’ve outplayed most teams,” said the Town boss. “We’ve been excellent away from home, our performances have been really, really good and I’d settle for any of our away performances – Wigan, Birmingham, Reading, QPR – again, but just with different results.”
Ipswich have left-back Aaron Cresswell available again following a two-match suspension, meaning Tyrone Mings will drop back to the bench.
New loan signing Jordan Graham, an 18-year-old pacey winger who arrived from Aston Villa yesterday, should travel but will not go straight into the side.
Paul Taylor picked up a heavy knock to his shoulder in the latter stages of last weekend’s game, while Luke Hyam – dropped for the first time in 37 matches – has reported a stiff back. Both missed training yesterday and are doubt for the weekend.