Top-two may not be out of Ipswich Town’s reach after all

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy is beginning to think that automatic promotion might not necessarily be out of reach after all.

The Blues boss said a top-two finish was looking ‘unrealistic’ just last month and tipped Middlesbrough and Derby to seal those spots.

Tuesday night’s impressive 2-1 home win over Leeds made it eight wins from 12 in the league though and lifted Ipswich up to fifth in the Championship table – just six points behind second-placed Hull.

“I’m going to say that it (automatic promotion) is still above and beyond us,” said McCarthy, speaking ahead of this afternoon’s Championship clash with Preston North End at Portman Road.

“But Paul Clement (Derby head coach) will be looking behind them and thinking ‘we could be caught here if we’re not careful’.

“Somebody may well catch them. And if we can continue this run of form then it may well be us.

“I’ve been asked ‘can we keep this up?’ I don’t know. We’ll continue to try and do it.

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“If we do manage to keep it going, and we keep picking up the wins, and the run of form continues, who knows?

“We also know that you can go on a bad run just as easily too and there are teams trying to catch us. Let’s just take it a game at the time.”

Reflecting on a week which started with a 2-2 hopem draw with Portsmouth in the FA Cup, the Blues boss added: “It’s bonkers isn’t it? On Saturday night it’s ‘we’ve been passed of the park by a League Two club’ and all is woe. Tuesday night we beat Leeds in the last minute, after a really good performance, and the place is buzzing again.

“Let’s hope we can keep things buzzing. We want the stadium full and we want to entertain them. I must say, if anybody went away on Tuesday night having not enjoyed the game I’d be surprised.”

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

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