‘We have got to be better, we weren’t that entertaining’ – Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy

Jordan Spence in pre-season training on Monday. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Jordan Spence in pre-season training on Monday. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he has a responsibility to provide more entertainment than last term, when the new Championship campaign kicks-off at home to Birmingham on August 5.

McCarthy led the Blues to their lowest league finish for 58 years – 16th in the second-tier – in what was generally a miserable campaign punctured with poor football and supporter unrest.

Having returned to pre-season training on Monday, McCarthy is determined to reverse Town’s fortunes, insisting last season’s product was ‘not as exciting as previous years.

“I always feel a big responsibility to get the team to perform,” he said.

“I don’t think we did last year, it was not as exciting as previous years and it was a scrap.

“There will be a few fans of Rotherham, Blackburn and Wigan feeling a lot worse than ours but we have got to be a lot better, we weren’t that entertaining, and I will try to do that this year.”

The 18-man squad that is named on the opening day is likely to be much different from the one that finished with a whimper at Nottingham Forest in May, with Christophe Berra, Dominic Samuel and Emyr Huws – the latter for now, from the 18 that day – having departed and other squad members that featured regularly no longer with the club.

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“Some changes are forced on you through necessity, some run their course, and it needs freshening up definitely, without any doubt,” McCarthy explained.

“(Christophe) Berra won’t be here, Tom Lawrence won’t be here, Toumani Diagouraga, Jonathan Douglas, Jonny Williams won’t be here.

“There will be a few missing, whoever starts (on August 5).”

It could be argued that Town had hit a downward spiral prior to the start of last season, but what is for sure is the Blues never properly recovered from losing talismanic striker Daryl Murphy.

“We certainly would not want to lose our best striker the day before season starts, that is always going to be a bone of contention, although it turned out to be a good deal,” McCarthy said.

“From Christmas we were in a relegation scrap so it was a means to an end and that’s what happened in the last few games when we beat Burton and Newcastle, to stay in this league.”

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