My players won’t be fazed by ‘huge’ game, says Mick McCarthy – ahead of today’s second-verus-third match between Ipswich and Derby

Ipswich Town

Ipswich Town - Credit: Archant

Ipswich v Derby: Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy insists his players will not be fazed by the excitement surrounding this lunchtime’s “huge” game with Championship promotion rivals Derby County, at Portman Road.

There’s a growing feelgood factor surrounding the Blues ahead of their televised second versus third clash (12.15pm, Sky Sports).

The Suffolk side have the best home record in the division, are unbeaten in 12, saw lengthy queues for tickets this week and the national media interest is growing.

“It’s a huge, huge game for both clubs, of course it is,” said McCarthy. “It’s second versus third and people have started taking note of us a bit more since last weekend’s draw at Southampton (in the FA Cup third round).

“Ticket sales, shirt sales – everything is just booming at the minute. Long may that continue because it’s all down to player performance and results.

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“I don’t think any of this bothers or fazes them. Victory or defeat, we’ve stayed on a level. We’ll just keep cracking on.

“We’ve got good players and they’re not babies either. We’ve got a couple of young’uns in Bish (Teddy Bishop) and Ty (Tyrone Mings), but the reality is the likes of Tommy Smith, Chambo (Luke Chambers), Bez (Christophe Berra), Skusey (Cole Skuse), Didz (David McGoldrick) and Murph (Daryl Murphy) are all good senior pros who have played a lot of games.”

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He added: “We’re not at a ‘must-win’ stage or anything like that. It’s more ‘must perform’. Every week we just have to keep performing and the results will take care of themselves.

“Would finishing above Derby mean automatic promotion? I don’t know. They’ll be up there, but there are still plenty of others behind us – Watford and Middlesbrough are good teams, Wolves are still nipping away and who knows what Norwich will do after a change of manager?”

– See today’s EADT for full match preview. Follow @Stuart_Watson on Twitter for live match updates.

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