We’re approaching ‘must-win’ territory, admits Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy. www.stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy. www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy admits tonight’s match against Bolton Wanderers at Portman Road is approaching ‘must-win’ territory.

The Blues have tumbled from top to 14th in the Championship table following a 10-game run of form which includes just one victory, four draws and five defeats.

Having recorded the joint-most number of home wins in the second tier last season – 15 out of 23 – Town are currently on a five-game barren streak on Suffolk soil, the loss to Brighton back at the end of August followed by stalemates with Birmingham, Bristol City, Huddersfield and Cardiff.

Bolton arrive tonight with just one win to their name all season and stuck in the relegation zone.

“I’m not sure it’s a ‘have-to-win’, but we’re getting to that point aren’t we?” said McCarthy, whose team then travel to rock-bottom Rotherham on Saturday, with second-bottom Charlton at Portman Road at the end of the month.


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“What I don’t want is for people to think that we’ll just turn up and win, because that never happens. We saw that with Bristol City when they turned out to be a good, powerful team, despite their lowly position. Bolton have just drawn against Leeds and Preston.

“They are not playing as badly as their position suggests.

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“They’ve got good Championship players, they’re no mugs, and so we have to be careful and not think that they are just going to roll over.

“I don’t think that and we don’t want anybody thinking that – the players or our fans.

“Neil Lennon will be looking at us thinking ‘they’re having a tough time’. If they can keep hold of the ball, get a goal then they will think they can quieten the crowd.

“But the support that we had on Saturday against Cardiff was wonderful and if that can be replicated then maybe we can all win together.

He added: “I think in the last two games (1-1 at Nottingham Forest and 0-0 at home to Cardiff) we have got back to what we’re good at. We’ve just got to turn these draws into wins now.

“It’s our inability to win the games at home that we’ve drawn – Cardiff, Huddersfield, Birmingham and Bristol City – that has cost us. That’s eight points dropped that would have put us in a different position.

“I know it will turn around and that we’ve got good players. As I’ve said before, we need to get a scrappy goal from somewhere and that might just turn the tide for us.”

– See today’s EADT and Ipswich Star for full match preview. Log-on at 6.45pm for live match updates.

Get involved in all the pre-match discusion ahead of Ipswich v Bolton and predict the result, with Match Centre

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