Top-six is still achievable – if we all pull together, says Ipswich Town boss Mick Mccarthy

Happier times as Mick McCarthy gets a good reception from Blues fans at Burnley after Ipswich's play

Happier times as Mick McCarthy gets a good reception from Blues fans at Burnley after Ipswich's play-off hopes for 2013/14 ended with a 1-0 defeat. - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says a top-six finish in the Championship is still achievable if everyone associated with the club pulls in the same direction.

The Blues travel to Sheffield Wednesday today placed 16th in the Championship table with a third of the season gone.

A sense of stagnation has set in throughout 2016 and Town fans’ frustrations came to a head during last weekend’s 2-2 home draw with rock-bottom Rotherham, the atmosphere inside Portman Road turning toxic towards the end.

McCarthy has key creative duo David McGoldrick and Jonny Williams fit again though and a run of wins could quickly see a six-point gap to the play-off places close.

“Of course we can still finish in the top six,” said McCarthy. “It will be a far more realistic target if we are all together. There’s no doubt that the players, myself and the staff are. I’d say the fans are in the main too. We’ve got two games at home coming up (Nottingham Forest and QPR) and it will make it a lot easier to play if there is a good positive atmosphere.


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“It’s a collective thing that. We can’t just rely on the fans to turn up and make a good atmosphere, and they can’t just rely on us – it’s got to be done together.”

Asked if, as a younger manager, he would have reacted differently to the hostile reaction he received at the end of last weekend’s match, he quipped: “I’d have probably given them the rods and not clapped them. I might have done something stupid and gone and given a volley of abuse to somebody.

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“With age comes a little bit of wisdom, a little bit of calm and a little bit of perspective. Some are maybe getting a bit fractious, a bit bored, but in the main I still get good support and I think it’s right that I applaud them.

“I can see past the upset of a Saturday afternoon when things are going badly. That was just a moment in time; that doesn’t reflect me, that doesn’t reflect my career and how it’s going to be in the future. It’s just a tough old time at the minute, but if you get buried in it then you’ll never get out of it. I prefer coming off to cheers and nice comments, but it’s not going to break me that’s for sure.”

He added: “You’re only ever two or three moves from going from God to dog. I remember coming back from the World Cup in 2002 (as Republic of Ireland manager) and there were half a million people in Phoenix Park and we’re all wonderful. By the time October comes I’ve decided I’m going to chuck it in because it’s all gone wrong and people have turned against me. It is what it is.

“I’ve not complained about the boos or reaction. I get it. I just didn’t think the performance warranted it, I thought it was a bit extreme.”

– Follow @Stuart_Watson on Twitter for live match updates.

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