Ipswich Town boss will settle for repeat of Wolves display against Norwich City

Jonathan Douglas fouls Dominic Iorfa at Wolves on Tuesday

Jonathan Douglas fouls Dominic Iorfa at Wolves on Tuesday

Ipswich Town aim to end seven years of hurt in the East Anglian derby tomorrow, and manager Mick McCarthy believes a similar performance to the one they produced at Wolves on Tuesday could bear fruit.

The Blues are without a league win against their bitter rivals for four games, stretching back to April 2009, and have lost each of the last four encounters in the regular season, conceding 12 goals.

On top of that, Ipswich were beaten over two legs in the 2015 Championship play-off semi-finals, the Canaries going on to clinch promotion after beating Middlesbrough at Wembley.

Fifteen months on, Norwich are back in the second tier and Town, after a disappointing campaign last time round, are hoping to launch another run towards the top-six.

They have made a modest start to the season, collecting four points, compared to Norwich’s seven, but the performance levels they displayed in the midweek draw at Molineux has given the Blues boss plenty of hope ahead of tomorrow’s noon showdown.

“We had a good second half against Barnsley (4-2 win), we were good in the first half at Brentford (2-0 defeat) and we put in a really good performance for 90 minutes at Wolves,” said McCarthy.

“All the stats backed that up and it was a valuable point.

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“We know it’s going to be hard (against Norwich) but it will be for them too.

“It would be nice to get that feel-good factor that a win against Norwich would bring – it’s a tough game to do it in, but I am confident we can win the game.

“I’ll settle for a good performance – but I don’t want anyone thinking ‘he does not care about the result’ because that is garbage.

“I can only affect the result by getting my team to play well, so let’s hope that’s the case.

“If Tuesday night’s performance is going to be a benchmark of how we are going to play this season then I will settle for that.”

With the Wolves game still fresh in his mind, McCarthy could choose to go with an unchanged team against the Canaries, meaning Jonathan Douglas would keep his place in a three-man midfield, alongside Cole Skuse and Teddy Bishop.

That would leave Freddie Sears – without a goal since December – and Grant Ward to support Daryl Murphy in attack but also help out their midfield when defending.

Douglas’s nous and battling qualities could be key tomorrow and McCarthy praised his veteran midfielder.

“He adds experience and is a real competitor,” McCarthy said.

“He missed the first two games of the season, but was the stand-out performer on Tuesday night.”

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