Packed house can inspire us to an FA Cup upset, says Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy firmly believes his depleted Ipswich Town squad can cause an FA Cup upset against high-flying Premier League side Southampton tonight.

The Blues boss has just 18 available first team players for tonight’s Third Round replay (7.55pm ko, live on BBC One), a virus having swept through the camp and ruled out midfield trio Teddy Bishop, Jay Tabb and Cole Skuse.

All of the above missed the first match at St Mary’s though, a much-changed side battling their way to a 1-1 draw, giving hope that the spirited Suffolk outfit can beat a team that rose to third in the top-flight table with a 1-0 win at Manchester United on Sunday.

The first full-house at Portman Road in almost a decade, £10 tickets quickly snapped up, plus wet and windy conditions, could prove to be a real leveller for the Championship promotion-chasing underdogs.

“It’s a real tough ask, but there’s no reason why we can’t win,” said McCarthy. “I saw enough from the first game, certainly in the first half, to believe that.

“The atmosphere will be fabulous under the lights. I can’t imagine it will be intimidating for them, having just won in front of 75,000, but it will inspire us playing in front of a big crowd.”

With the game having to be decided tonight, extra-time and penalties to be used if required, McCarthy – whose side have a league game at struggling Milllwall on Saturday – added: “Listen, if we’re going to win we want it to happen in 90 minutes. If the end result is going to be a defeat then I’d like it done in 90 minutes.

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“I don’t want to still be here at midnight for the sake of our league form. I’m sure they’ll be thinking that too because they’ve got Newcastle away on Saturday.”

– See today’s EADT and Ipswich Star for full match preview.