‘We’re not one-trick ponies,’ insists Mick McCarthy ahead of Ipswich versus Bournemouth style clash
This tea-time’s promotion clash at Portman Road appears to be a case of functional versus fancy.
Ipswich Town are sixth in the Championship table thanks to their brand of direct football, aerial threat, unrivalled work rate and team spirit.
Table-topping Bournemouth, by contrast, have won the hearts of neutrals with their easy-on-the-eye passing and movement.
With just eight points separating the top eight sides with sevens games to go though, Blues boss Mick McCarthy insists this is no time for football snobbery.
“Look, I think they deserve the plaudits for the way they play,” said the Blues boss, today’s game to be broadcast live by Sky Sports (5.15pm ko).
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“But there’s more than one way to skin a cat. I think you should be appreciated and respected however you win games.
“If you’re getting beaten week-in, week-out, that’s when your style of play is wrong.
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“I’m not really bothered or fussed by all that style of football stuff.”
Asked if deprecating and snide comments about his side’s perceived ‘long ball’ game got up his nose at times, McCarthy quipped: “Well there’s plenty of room up my nose!
“There are all sorts of ways of playing football. We had that debate recently with Big Sam (Allardyce, West Ham manager) and Louis Van Gaal (Manchester United manager).
“I think if you can hit a long pass then it’s one of the most beautiful things in the game.”
He continued: “It’s usually the managers we’ve beaten that really bleat about it.
“We went to Watford, had more of the ball than they did and won 1-0. There was no suggestion of us playing the long ball game then.
“If you’re a one trick pony, no matter what that trick is, then you get found out.
“You have to have a variation in your game. I think the best teams have. And we’re one of the best teams in the league.”
With a bumper crowd expected at Portman Road, McCarthy added: “They are a strong team all over. I could go through them all and wax lyrical about all of them, but I don’t want to do that. “Good, vociferous support in your favour makes a difference. When you go to grounds and they’re full and they are all baying for your blood then it tests you out. Let’s hope we can test Bournemouth.”
– Follow @Stuart_Watson for live match updates.