‘I’d love to win it for the fans’ – McCarthy wants to end nine years of East Anglian derby hurt
PUBLISHED: 18:15 16 February 2018 | UPDATED: 18:15 16 February 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says he’d love to deliver an East Anglian derby victory for the club’s long-suffering fans on Sunday lunchtime (12pm).
Town head to Carrow Road having not beaten their bitter rivals since 2009 – a miserable run including six defeats, three draws and the added pain of a Championship play-off semi-final exit.
The two clubs now have 40 wins apiece in this fixture and are currently locked on 44 points in the middle of the second-tier table, Town one place higher in 12th courtesy of a superior goal difference.
“I’d love to win it for the fans,” said McCarthy. “They’ve been long-suffering against Norwich and it would be great for them to see us get a win.
“It’s an exciting weekend. You get that butterfly in your stomach and that nervous energy.
“I want to win this game. I want to win it for me, the lads, the fans more than anything, because I keep hearing the stats and I know how much it means to them.
“You can’t do anything about historical fixtures. I am aware of the record though and it will mean a little bit more to me if we can win this on Sunday.
“I can only speak from my time as a player. If I lost to somebody, I certainly didn’t want to lose to them again. There would be something burning fiercely inside me not wanting to get beaten again.”
Norwich City head coach Daniel Farke, whose side won 1-0 in Suffolk last October courtesy of James Maddison’s strike, has suggested the pressure is on Ipswich this weekend.
“We’re above them in the table, level on points, so neither of us are underdogs,” said McCarthy, who oversaw two 1-1 draws against Norwich in 2016/17.
“You would have to say, if there’s anything that makes someone a slight favourite then it would be them being at home.”
With both teams a sizeable eight points adrift of the play-off places with 15 games to play, the Blues boss was asked if victory was required to stand any chance of gate-crashing the top-six.
“More than likely, yes,” he replied. “There you go, you can put that one down; ‘if we don’t win, Mick rules out the play-offs’.
“Let’s hope we win and let’s hope it’s a springboard for us to look forwards and be thinking we can still get on the end of the play-offs and not Norwich.”