Beating Norwich City could help write some of the wrongs of Ipswich Town’s season, says Mick McCarthy
PUBLISHED: 17:38 23 February 2017 | UPDATED: 17:52 23 February 2017
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy knows a long-awaited victory against bitter rivals Norwich City would go a long way to salvaging some pride from a stuttering season.
The Blues head to Carrow Road on Sunday (12pm ko, Sky Sports) in search of their first East Anglian derby victory since 2009.
Town have stagnated in the 18 months since their play-off semi-final defeat to the Canaries but head into this fixture with renewed confidence following an impressive unbeaten start to February.
“There will be a lot (of fans) who think that it’s not been as good a season they expected it to be,” admitted McCarthy, whose low-budget team are 13th in the Championship table, 10 points behind their expensively-assembled cross-border rivals.
“There are a lot of wrongs (in this season) and we could right a few of them if we win on Sunday.
“The same points are at stake as every game, but of course there are bragging rights and the feeling about the club from the fans at stake too.”
With Norwich now seven points adrift of the top-six following last weekend’s defeat at Burton, McCarthy said: “I keep getting asked if there is more pressure on them than us this weekend. It’s a big game for all of us because of the nature of the game, but if they are going to get in the play-offs – which I expected they would do at the very least – then they are going to have to win a whole load of games, starting with us on Sunday I would have thought.
“I’m not really bothered about them though to be quite honest. I don’t overly consume myself with what’s going on 50 miles up the road.
“I wasn’t born in Suffolk. I might have a look at what Barnsley or Sheffield Wednesday are doing – that used to be my derby. Or Doncaster, or Chesterfield, or Rotherham or Leeds.”
McCarthy has always said that any point away from home is a good one. Does that theory still apply for a game like this?
“We’re 1-0 down with a minute to go and we score – do you think that would be a good point?” he replied. “A point at Norwich is certainly a good point.
“They are a team who have spent a lot of money and have a good squad. I’m not bothered what fans, pundits or journalists say, if we get a point there I’ll be happy with it.”