Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: 1°C

Search

Lion heart-less – no room for sentiment as Mick McCarthy faces former club Millwall

PUBLISHED: 14:28 08 December 2012 | UPDATED: 14:39 08 December 2012

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy

Archant

Ipswich v Millwall: MICK McCarthy admits he’ll always have a special place in his heart for Millwall – but a fierce desire to win will completely overwhelm any feelings of sentimentality today.

The Yorkshireman finished his playing career at the Lions and went on to enjoy four years at the club as a young boss, the spell acting as a springboard for subsequent successes with Sunderland, the Republic of Ireland and Wolves.

However, in typically straight-talking fashion, the 53-year-old says all that will be forgotten this afternoon as he looks to continue his impressive start to life as Ipswich Town manager.

“They gave me my chance and they’ll always have a special place in my heart because of that,” said McCarthy, speaking ahead of the visit of his former club to Portman Road.

“The fans there are very demanding and it was a great place to cut my teeth. I took that job at 32 and I was wet behind the ears – it was a case of rabbit caught in the headlights for a while.

“If it wasn’t for them believing in me, I guess I wouldn’t be sat here today. That said, I’m manager of Ipswich Town now and, let me tell you, I don’t like anybody I play against. I mean that.

“Anybody who I’m playing against I want to beat; even if it’s my kids at tiddlywinks or crazy golf.

“It’s a horrible trait in me that my kids don’t like, but there you go. That’s how you’ve got to be in this business.”

Having inherited a Blues side that were rock-bottom of the Championship table, McCarthy has masterminded a return of 13 points from his first seven games in charge to lead the club five points clear of the relegation zone.

However, with Luke Hyam and Nigel Reo-Coker both still sidelined – and Luke Chambers and Bradley Orr also doubts – the Town boss has warned supporters not to get too carried away following morale-boosting victories over Nottingham Forest and Bolton.

Especially as Millwall arrive in town today off the back of an impressive 13-game unbeaten run.

He said: “We’ve got a really good team coming here in Millwall, then we go to a tough old place in Elland Road [Leeds] next weekend. Let’s just keeping focusing on things game-by-game.

“I do want to keep a lid on things – I want to keep expectations as low as possible.

“No doubt about it, our hopes are high, but when you get a couple of good results everyone can start getting carried away.

“You can easily get slapped down in two or three more games and that’s what I don’t want to happen.”

– Follow @Stuart_Watson on Twitter for live match updates

Ipswich Town will announce the loan signing of Birmingham City midfielder Stephen Gleeson tomorrow morning.

Bundesliga side Werder Bremen are said to be one of a number of clubs considering a January bid for Ipswich Town loanee Bersant Celina, according to reports.

Bartosz Bialkowski and Cole Skuse will both be fit for Ipswich Town’s trip to Bolton on Saturday.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy is hopeful he will add to his squad in time for Saturday’s visit to Bolton.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says he expects keeper Bartosz Bialkowski to still be at the club come the end of the season.

Tommy Smith will be allowed to pursue a move to MLS side Colorado Rapids as long as Ipswich Town are able to sign a replacement defender.

Ipswich Town travel to Bolton Wanderers for a Championship clash on Saturday (3pm).

Bersant Celina could have joined Bolton Wanderers in the summer rather than moving to Ipswich Town - and he’s convinced he made the right decision.

Ipswich Town’s Bryan Klug was spotted keeping an eye on Colchester United and Wycombe at the weekend.

Sports writer Andy Warren takes a look at Ipswich Town’s business in the January transfer window so far.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24