TEAM NEWS: Frank Nouble will not be risked against Wigan

Ipswich Town

Ipswich Town - Credit: Archant

Ipswich v Wigan: Frank Nouble will not be risked in tomorrow’s home game against Wigan Athletic says Blues boss Mick McCarthy.

Nouble started the three games which followed David McGoldrick’s season-ending knee injury but a tight hamstring meant he did not travel to yeovil for Tuesday night’s 1-0 win.

“Frank’s still unavailable,” revealed McCarthy. “He’ll be okay for the next one (Brighton away a week tomorrow). He’s at that stage where he thinks he might be alright and I’m not interested in might be alrights with 10 games to go after this one.

“They are all coming thick and fast and I’ll need everybody fit. He needs to be at full tilt to be effective.”

McGoldrick is Town’s only absentee ahead of the visit of a Latics side that have won their last seven games in a row to move into the FA Cup semi-finals and within goal difference of the Championship play-off places.

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“I think we recovered remarkably well after the Middlesbrough game (2-0 defeat last Saturday) because we did look a bit flat, though you have to give the opposition a bit of credit as well.

“For us to respond the way we did, having travelled another 250 miles or whatever it is to Yeovil, was excellent. We played well, played energetically, played with discipline and that says a lot about the players’ powers of recovery; both mentally and physically.

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“We had the cryotherapy unit here (on Monday) and the lads think it makes a bit of difference.”

Would McCarthy have taken three points from those games against Middlesbrough and Yeovil had they been offered to him beforehand?

“Yeah, I guess I would,” he replied. “It is bonkers isn’t it? You go away and don’t get beat in two games and you think ‘we’ve done alright there’, but you only get two points. If every two away games was win one, lose one then I’d take that all day long.”

Ipswich – who are four points behind Wigan having played two games more – dominated the reverse fixture last September, only to be punished for not taking a plethora of chances in a 2-0 defeat.

“It was probably one of our best performances, never mind one of our best away performances,” said the Blues boss.

“They’d been and played away on the Thursday in the Europa League and we were all over them but we couldn’t score and we made two mistakes that cost us the game.”

While the Town boss says that the early season participation in the Europa League didn’t help Wigan’s challenge to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking, he says their FA Cup win last season and last week’s quarter-final win over Manchester City will have given them confidence for the run-in.

“Going out of the Europa Cup was probably the best thing which could have happened to them. If somebody offered me the chance of playing in the Europa Cup I’d run a mile playing in this league with the schedule we have.

“The FA Cup’s completely different. You don’t have to play the FA Cup in any places I can’t spell or pronounce or have never been before – and my passports full of stamps, believe me! It’s been the biggest club cup competition, arguably, in the world. Wigan have brought the magic back again; last year they did it and this year they’ve done it again.”

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