We’ll go on the attack at MK Dons, says Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy gets animated on the touchline during the Ipswich Town v Wolverhampton Wolves (Champio

Mick McCarthy gets animated on the touchline during the Ipswich Town v Wolverhampton Wolves (Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 21 November 2015. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has vowed his side will go on the attack at MK Dons this lunchtime (12.30pm, Sky Sports).

The Blues were all about substance over style during McCarthy’s first two-and-half seasons of slow and steady progress. Tags such as hard-working, organised and hard-to-beat soon stuck.

This season, it’s been a different story. Only two Championship teams – Middlesbrough and Fulham – have scored more than Town’s 28 goals in 19 league games. On the flip side of that, only six have conceded more than their 27 goals against.

Indeed, it’s a theme which has run throughout this calender year. In 48 games, Town have drawn a blank 12 times and kept a clean sheet on just nine occasions.

From being the ultimate fine-margins pragmatists, Ipswich’s scorelines suddenly resemble those seen during Joe Royle’s open and attacking era at Portman Road.

It’s certainly a head-scratcher given that the personnel and tactics have been tweaked as opposed to completely changed.

“The bizarre thing is that we’ve scored more than most and yet we’ve conceded more than most – that’s unlike my teams,” said McCarthy, whose ninth-place team take on an MK Dons outfit that are only outside the relegation zone on goal difference today.

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“I’ve tried to get us more positive, to get more goals from us and I’ve managed that. I’m not convinced that’s been the contributory factor to us conceding them.

“I look at the goals against Middlesbrough last weekend. One’s from a goalkeeper’s kick, there are several little errors and it ends up in our net.

“We’ll continue to attack and go to MK Dons and be positive.”

Following a good start to life in the second tier, the Dons have lost 10 of their last 15 league games – the last of which was an utterly comprehensive 2-0 loss at Brentford.

Karl Robinson tore into his players after that match, saying that all of them had three weeks to save their careers at the club

“I saw Karl had a bit of a rallying call in saying that the players were playing for their futures,” said McCarthy. “I’m sure that will motivate them for this game.

“That’s the sort of thing you have to do. When results aren’t going well you do sometimes have to jolt people into action.

“Let’s just hope it’s not this week they jolt into action.”

– See today’s EADT and Ipswich Star for full match preview. Follow @Stuart_Watson for live match updates.