Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy hoping for a fast start against former club Sunderland
PUBLISHED: 17:39 25 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:49 25 September 2017
Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy will put all sentiment to one side and look to heap further misery on Sunderland tomorrow evening.
The Blues boss spent ‘three happy years’ as Black Cats boss (03-06), guiding them to the FA Cup semis and a second-tier title. He also counts their current manager, Simon Grayson, as a friend.
None of that will matter tomorrow though as the two sides go head-to-head at Portman Road in a Championship clash (7.45pm).
Sunderland have struggled to adjust since a limp relegation ended a 10-year stay in the Premier League. They find themselves in the relegation zone after claiming just six points from their opening nine games.
Town, meanwhile, have renewed confidence following five wins from eight and an impressive showing in Saturday’s narrow 3-2 loss at table-topping Leeds.
“These are big games for us,” said McCarthy, with Bristol City heading to Suffolk on Saturday. “You only get a bit of kudos for playing well and losing if you go on and win your next game.
“My last words to the players on Saturday was ‘we’ve goals scored two at the leaders, had them by the scruff of the neck for about 30 minutes in the second half and I’m proud of you for that performance’. But, there is no point playing that well and getting beat.”
Town have scored a first half goal in just 20 of their 54 home games since the start of 2015/16. Their last outing at Portman Road was watched by the lowest league crowd in 19 years (14,164).
Asked if he wanted to see a fast start from his side, McCarthy replied: “Of course. Simon is a mate of mine, but he knows I’m not going to give any quarter and I’m not asking for any from him.
“I do wish him well because I think he’s one of the good guys. He did a great job at Preston and has now gone to a club that is used to losing. It’s bloody hard to change that. If you don’t get instant results then people can turn against you.”
He added: “I haven’t been watching them, I’ve only seen their results. I’ve got my own things to think about.
“We played some good football on Saturday. I didn’t enjoy the result, but I came away feeling somewhat better about how we played. If that’s what we can produce it’s got to be more often.”