We won’t let Fulham play this time, insists Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy
- Credit: Mark Bullimore
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy insists his team won’t allow Fulham to pass them off the park again.
The Cottagers were in complete control from start to finish of their 2-0 victory at Portman Road on Boxing Day and go into Saturday’s reverse fixture just two points off the Championship play-off places.
“We were hopeless,” said McCarthy, recalling that festive fixture. “Let’s just clear that up. They were good, but it’s a lot easier playing against a team that is hopeless. We never got at them – maybe that was down to my tactics that day, maybe we all had a good Christmas, I don’t know?
“We didn’t put a great deal of resistance up. They are a very good team and if you let them play they can hurt you. We won’t be letting them play on Saturday. The gap between us and them is not what showed that day.”
Slavisa Jokanovic’s men have the least amount of home wins out of anyone in the top 11. Town have won 2-1 on their last two visits to Craven Cottage and not lost there since a 10-1 thrashing on Boxing Day in 1963.
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“We’ve played well there,” said McCarthy. “I remember Matt Smith coming on and them putting balls into the box. I don’t think that will happen again. They are a different team now.”
Close to 2,500 Town fans are expected in West London tomorrow and, as has become tradition, many of them will enjoy a trip up the Thames on a party boat beforehand.
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“It’s been amazing at Fulham – the crowd behind the goal there has been fantastic,” said McCarthy. “Our support has been great. Our support has been terrific. They are the real diehards, the ones that travel away, there’s no doubt about that. I’ve no problem with the support at all, home or away.”
Meanwhile, McCarthy reiterated that he saw negatives in Tuesday night’s 3-0 home win over Wigan.
He said: “We gave stupid free-kicks away. Jordan (Spence) gave one away, Myles (Kenlock) gave one away, Chambo (Luke Chambers) gave one away. When I came to the club we were top of the league when it came to stats about giving away free-kicks in the defensive third. We went from that to being the meanest for that particular stat. That’s what we’ve got to be again.”