‘Nothing to be nervous about’ – Mick McCarthy relishes chance to knock another team off the top of the Championship table

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says his side have ‘nothing to be nervous about’ ahead of this tea-times’s match with Championship league-leaders Bournemouth at Portman Road (5.15pm ko, Sky Sports).

The Blues knocked Watford off top spot with a dramatic 1-0 away win prior to the international break.

And, with his sixth in the table with seven games to go, McCarthy, usually so pragmatic, has bordered on bullish in the build-up.

“People are hyping this game and up and so they should be,” he said. “Win and we could be right back in it to win the league or finish in the top two. If we lose... Well I’m not thinking about that.”

The Blues boss continued: “It’s when you face a side that is bottom, at home, that you get nervous because everyone expects you to win. If we’d got third or fourth bottom coming here, everybody turns up with the anticipation that it will be an easy win. They’re the hardest games.

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“Bournemouth, in mine and many peoples’ opinions, are the best team in the league. We’re playing top of the table so there’s nothing to be nervous about I don’t think.”

With new Crystal Palace loan duo Zeki Fryers and Jonny Williams set to start and be on the bench respectively, is McCarthy happy with the support he has been given by owner Marcus Evans ahead of the crucial run-in?

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“Of course,” he replied. “You ask me that question all the time. I’ve never had any issue with the backing I get from the owner.

“Having had a difficult spell we got ourselves back into a good position, back into the top six, and he decided it was worthy of having a go and making sure we have enough good players to compete for one of those promotion places.

“I’m looking forward to the run-in because we’re in the play-off spots and trying to get out of the league at the right end.”

– Follow @Stuart_Watson on Twitter for live match updates.

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