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‘We can go anywhere and be confident’ – McCarthy says Town are ready for October acid test

PUBLISHED: 11:04 13 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:04 13 October 2017

Ipswich Town are among the Championship's leading scorers with 20 goals netted in 10 games. Photo: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town are among the Championship's leading scorers with 20 goals netted in 10 games. Photo: Steve Waller

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy insists his side can go into a tough-looking October schedule full of confidence – starting at Sheffield United tomorrow.

The Blues are eighth in the table after winning six of their opening 10 Championship games, scoring plenty of goals and providing more entertainment along the way.

However, there’s no escaping the fact that five of their triumphs have come against sides in the bottom seven, while they’ve come up short against the likes of Fulham (10th), Leeds (5th) and Bristol City (4th).

These next five games therefore look a major acid test.

Tomorrow’s hosts, Sheffield United, are third in the table and have serious momentum following a 100-point promotion from League One.

Then it’s the visit of bitter rivals Norwich City (9th) to Portman Road next Sunday – Town, as if you need reminding, haven’t won an East Anglian derby since 2009 – followed by quickfire away trips to Burton (21st) and Cardiff (1st).

Preston (6th) then come to Suffolk at the start of November prior to the next international break.

“There are some big games coming up for us,” said McCarthy, who has claimed 14 points from a possible 54 in the month of October as Blues boss.

“It’s a month to work hard in, it’s going to be a tough one, but these are good games for us though.

“I don’t think that any of the teams, any of the managers, will be looking at us and thinking ‘happy days, we’ve got Mick’s mob coming, that’ll be nice and easy’.”

With Town averaging two goals a game, he added: “You have to think about how to stop good opposition playing, but they’ll be doing the same with us. I would like to think teams are looking at us and thinking ‘they can score goals’.

“We’ve been playing alright, we’ve been playing well. Okay, Bristol City deserved to win here last time, but I don’t think we were bad.

“I think we can go anywhere and be confident.”

Asked if his team needed to lay down a marker by beating a top-half side, the Blues boss replied: “That will be important. We’ll go to Bramall lane and try and do that. We should remember that our best performance was at Leeds (3-2 defeat), who are one of the better teams.”

The Gunn family know all about the highs and lows that the East Anglian derby can provide and Angus is relishing the chance to follow in the footsteps of his father for Norwich this Sunday.

Ipswich Town skipper Luke Chambers issued a rallying call to his team-mates ahead of Sunday’s derby clash with Norwich City telling them “now is the time to stand-up and be counted.”

Ipswich Town legend and former England captain Terry Butcher has paid tribute to his son Christopher’s “larger than life character” and described him as a “formidable and true friend” following the 35-year-old’s death.

Ipswich Town skipper Luke Chambers has hit back at Nelson Oliveira’s claim that Norwich City are a ‘better club’ with ‘better players’ by calling the City striker ‘not very well educated’.

The fit-and-firing David McGoldrick is the Ipswich Town player that Norwich City fans would most like to have in the Canary ranks in Sunday’s East Anglian derby.

Former Ipswich Town star Marcus Stewart says players have to put themselves “in the shoes of the fans” on derby day.

Just 13 players have represented both Norwich City and Ipswich Town since 1980 – but can you remember which club those players represented more?

Ipswich Town legend George Burley believes the Blues have their best chance of winning an East Anglian derby in years at Portman Road this Sunday lunchtime (12pm ko).

Daniel Farke may be new to East Anglian rivalries but the Norwich City boss warns Ipswich Town face a titanic struggle to break the derby spell.

Every derby is about passion, loyalty and tribal pride. We get it. Ipswich Town v Norwich City is no different. But who do you have a sneaking regard for in the Canaries’ line up?

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