|Burnley 2 v 0 Ipswich Town|
Saturday, 4th May 2013 Kick-off 12:45
McCarthy: Players Will Still Want to Win at Burnley
Friday, 3rd May 2013 10:51
Town boss Mick McCarthy expects his players to show their competitive nature at Burnley on Saturday, despite having secured their Championship place for another season by beating Birmingham last weekend (KO 12.45pm). The Blues manager has promised changes to his team for the final game of the 2012/13 campaign.
McCarthy says he wants to win whenever he’s competing with anyone at anything and doesn’t expect anything different from his team: “I always find that a bit patronising to players. As if they suddenly are going to stop playing.
“I know when you’re wired and you want to finish with as many points as you can to stay up, then there is a certain intensity, but the players are here at Ipswich because they’re good players, because it’s such a good club and they’re playing in the team because they’re good players.
“If they’re anything like me, I didn’t want to lose whether I was training or playing tiddlywinks with my kids or crazy golf.
“I don’t have to keep going round telling them that, but I have no doubt they’ll be looking forward to their holidays.”
Second guessing McCarthy’s usually fairly settled team is harder this time around, although he has hinted that Patrick Kisnorbo, Elliott Hewitt and Tyrone Mings will be involved. Mings has also tweeted that he is looking forward to Saturday’s game.
If that’s the case, Kisnorbo will come into one of the centre-half roles, probably instead of Luke Chambers alongside Player of the Year Tommy Smith, while Hewitt will keep his place at right-back in place of Richard Stearman, despite the on-loan Wolves man being over his hamstring problem.
Debutant Mings could potentially come in for Smith at centre-half, but the former Chippenham Town defender is more likely to start at left-back. If he does so that would end Aaron Cresswell’s record of having played every minute of the 2012/13 season, although it is possible that the ex-Tranmere man could move into midfield.
Lee Martin is another more likely alternative on the left of midfield in place of Jay Tabb, while Andy Drury or Anthony Wordsworth may come in for Guirane N’Daw or Luke Hyam in the centre. Skipper Carlos Edwards may drop out in favour of Jay Emmanuel-Thomas.
Up front, Michael Chopra will probably come in for one of Daryl Murphy or Frank Nouble. On the bench, academy striker Jack Marriott could be included for the first time.
After Saturday, loanees Murphy, Tabb, N’Daw, Stearman, Kisnorbo, Aaron Mclean and Reece Brown will go back to their clubs with McCarthy having said he’d like to keep the first three, who are all out of contract. A move for Stearman, who has a further year on his Wolves deal, would also be no surprise depending on the fee asked.
The Blues boss has also been pleased with Kisnorbo since he’s been at the club, despite his lack of games, and may also look at offering the Australian a deal with his Leeds contract up at the end of June.
Martin, Drury, Lee-Barrett are all out of contract and may well be involved with the Blues for the last time, with McCarthy having told them their fate in the last few days, although the Blues boss says this won't affect whether they are involved at Turf Moor. Third-choice keeper Jason Brown's short-term contract is also up. A retention list will be released next week.
Fuelled by Charlie Austin’s early season goal rush, Burnley started the campaign strongly but fell away with McCarthy believing the striker’s lack of goals – he scored five of his 28 after Christmas – was behind their fade in form: “If you lose those goals, which have dried up a little bit, [that will happen].
“When they came down here I think they were a top six team. And, of course, breezed into the club a bit like a top six team. They were doing well, were on a really good run.
“But, like a lot of teams who have come down here on those sorts of runs, we beat them. It’s just that the league is outrageous. They went from what they thought was a play-off spot to sweating on a relegation berth until they went to Wolves last week and won.”
For the Clarets, Kevin Long will be back at the centre of the defence after injuring his groin in the warm-up ahead of last week’s 2-1 win at Wolves, while Michael Duff is suspended and David Edgar has returned to Canada for the birth of his child.
Another defender Ben Mee is out with a hamstring problem, while striker Charlie Austin is sidelined having recently had his appendix removed.
Manager Sean Dyche has promised to include youngsters against the Blues, but says he’ll start with a more senior team: “It’s more a case of [the youngsters] being involved in the squad, the dressing room and the build-up and feeling a part of it.
“There may be a couple who are literally involved on the day and we will hopefully have a couple of fresh faces on the bench, but as regards the starting XI we want to go strong and win.”
No current Blue has been a Claret, although Town targeted Burnley striker Austin when he was at Swindon soon after Paul Jewell took over as manager in January 2011.
The 23-year-old was at Portman Road for talks but failed to agree personal terms with the Blues after the Robins accepted a fee.
Tony Loughlan, Roy Keane’s assistant manager during his time at Town, is Dyche’s number two at Turf Moor.
At Portman Road in November, DJ Campbell’s late goal saw the Blues to a 2-1 victory over Burnley in Mick McCarthy’s first home game in charge.
Daryl Murphy got Town’s first home league win in 11 games – the previous one came in March – up and running just after the break with a controversial header, then a Danny Higginbotham own goal put the visitors on terms before Campbell’s 87th minute winner.
Last time at Turf Moor, in November 2011, Town’s run of defeats stretched to six games as the Blues were thumped 4-0 at Burnley with manager Paul Jewell slamming his side’s performance after the game.
Sam Vokes opened the scoring from a header from a corner, then Chris McCann added the second just before the break. The Irishman grabbed his second and the Clarets’ third, before Jay Rodriguez completed the scoring.
Overall, Town have won 18 of the games between the sides (17 in the league), Burnley 10 (10) with a further 10 (10) ending in draws. The Clarets are currently 14th on 58 points, three places and two points behind the Blues, who have lost only one of their last 10 games against the Lancastrians.
Saturday’s referee is Mick Russell from Hertfordshire, who has shown 95 yellow cards and four red in 45 matches this season. Russell’s most recent Town game was the 2-1 win at Charlton on Boxing Day in which he booked only one Addick.
Squad from: Loach, Lee-Barrett, Brown, Hewitt, Stearman, Cresswell, Mings, Chambers, Smith, Kisnorbo, R Brown, N’Daw, Drury, Hyam, Wordsworth, Tabb, Edwards, Emmanuel-Thomas, Martin, Murphy, Nouble, Chopra, Mclean, Marriott.
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