MATCH PREVIEW: Ipswich Town boss wary of Sheffield Wednesday's strike duo
PUBLISHED: 17:26 29 September 2014 | UPDATED: 17:26 29 September 2014
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy will pit his managerial wits against his former Barnsley team-mate when the Blues travel to Sheffield Wednesday tonight.
The pair played at Oakwell together in the 1980s and, since hanging their boots up, have held a number of managerial and coaching roles between them.
McCarthy has managed Republic of Ireland, Wolves and Sunderland, while Gray has been a highly-respected coach at Aston Villa, Burnley and Portsmouth, as well as being manager/head coach at Southampton, Northampton and now, Wednesday.
The Owls have made a solid start to the season and, before Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Cardiff, had kept seven clean sheets in 10 games.
That blip at Cardiff followed a 7-0 humbling in the League Cup at Manchester City, but McCarthy remains wary of the Owls’ threat.
“We have just had a good result and we are going there under the lights. They have had a good start, and I thought they were excellent when we played them the last game of the season, I thought we were lucky to win, they were the better team,” said McCarthy.
“Stuart Gray has got them playing some really good football and it’s always a difficult place to play
“They have still got Nuhiu in attack, he is a handful, and (Stevie) May looks particularly sharp and I know there was a bit of interest in him from other places, so he looks a good signing.
“They are a solid 4-4-2 team and they don’t play anything strange or unusual, there is no-one playing in behind or sitting. They are a really capable team.”
Meanwhile, Gray watched Ipswich in their victory at Wigan and outlined their threats as an offensive force.
“I watched them live at Wigan last week and they dominated the game. Not many teams will go there and win.
“They have won four in a row and Mick has got them organised,” said Gray.
“They have got plenty of physical energy and presence up front in Sammon and Murphy. They’ve got a bit of quality in McGoldrick who can pick out a pass and score a goal.
“It’s a good game for us because they are one of the most in-form teams in the league. It’s a good game for us to bounce back in. It’s our patch and we’ve got nothing to fear.
“We just need to start working the goalkeeper a bit more and the goals will come.
He added: “They (Ipswich) are like us, very solid and an honest bunch of players. He’s got two solid centre-backs in Chambers and Berra. They play to their strengths by getting the ball forward to their big lads.
“Mick is a wise old guy who has been involved in the game a long, long time. He’s managed in the Premier League and at international level. He gets the best out of his players and it will be a good game for us tomorrow.”