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McCarthy: Battle Could Go to Last Day
Monday, 11th Feb 2013 06:00

Boss Mick McCarthy warned that Town’s relegation battle could last until the final day of the season visit to Burnley after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Blackburn. The Blues dropped to 20th in the Championship only one point from the relegation zone with Bolton, Bristol City, Peterborough and Barnsley all winning.

McCarthy says he can only affect Town’s matches: “I can’t do anything about other results. I’ve said all along since I walked in on November 1st that I think it’ll go right to the very end.

“It’s a matter of having 50-points plus to stay in the league, and everybody’s scrapping for them. We’ve had our good run or we wouldn’t be above the bottom three. Others are having their good run. It’s a matter of starting again next Saturday.”

The Blackburn game, won by a scrappy Jordan Rhodes goal just after the hour mark, was another tight contest, like so many in the Championship, and McCarthy believes there’s not a lot between any of the teams from top to bottom.

“We went to Cardiff and there was nothing in it,” he said. “It’s a tough league, you’ve got to scrap it out, stay with it and make sure you pick the points up.”

Despite Town having being drawn back closer to the danger zone, McCarthy is remaining level-headed: “I always do, there’s no point in being any other way. Having 44 points now, it would look a lot better in the league but it’s still not going to make you safe.

“You’ve got to get your points, wherever you pick them up, keep picking them up and the last game of the season might be relied upon. I don’t know.

“I’ve never sat in a press conference and said ‘We’ll be fine, we’ll be OK’ and I’m not going to start now. Likewise, I’m not going to start grinding my teeth and worrying about it.”

With all the teams at the bottom picking up points here and there the Blues boss says it might take more than the usual 50-ish points to stay up: “It could be, the way it’s going.

“All the teams are battling away and it could be some of the teams that are spiralling down that could have the problem. Let’s hope we’re not one of those.”

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I_am_John_Hoyles added 07:17 - Feb 11
Even with our current situation, I feel more confident we'll survive with Mick at the helm. Come on boys, start grinding out those results......for all our sakes!!!
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yun added 07:20 - Feb 11
Our goal difference is a bit scary and I think it will be more like 55 points to stay up this year, but I think we should just about manage it. Ten points separating 20th and 7th says something about how tight the Championship is. I'm glad to have an experienced man in charge, but would feel a lot more comfortable if it looked like we had a few more goals in us. A start for Mr. Wordsworth soon, methinks.
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Mr_Jingles added 08:00 - Feb 11
Teams Like Barnsley & Bristol will have dip in form soonish... then we'll be 5 or 6 pts clear again in a few weeks.
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StuartBrett8 added 08:03 - Feb 11
I hope we're well clear by the last game, I don't think my nerves could take it
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bluefeast added 08:36 - Feb 11
Ourselves Wolves Peterborough Huddersfield are the ones in danger. The others score goals.
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mikeybloo88 added 08:39 - Feb 11
Bluefeast, Peterborough score more goals than us, it's their defence that's their problem.
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MickMillsTash added 08:54 - Feb 11
I think we will be OK but agree that there do not seem to be too many goals in us based on saturday- whether that is because Blackburn have a very good defence/ we were off form / or we lack up front I'm not sure.
If we can beat Blackpool and Huddersfield both can be drawn in to the mess- its a very big 2-3 weeks looming. Wordsworth will get his opportunity.
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brittaniaman added 09:00 - Feb 11
It does not seem that long ago we were 10pts. clear of the relegation pot ?????
Then that awful january kicked us right up the Butt in to reallity !!!!!!!
Our goal average is one of our worries, because we have got to get that extra point above the others ??? C ome on you Blues you can do it !!!!!!!!!
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Keaneish added 09:06 - Feb 11
Every confidence in MM and TC and the strikers we have available to get us home and dry.
I think by the time we get to March we'll have another 7 points to the total and we'll be sitting a lot prettier. Agree that Bristol City, Barnsley and the likes of Sheff Weds run will start to come to an end as the race for the play-offs picks up.
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Kesgraveblue57 added 09:41 - Feb 11
This comes as a complete surprise to me Mick glad you told me.
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BillBlue added 09:56 - Feb 11
I think it no good at all hoping that teams like Barnsley, Peterborough, Bristol City, Sheffield Wednesday, et al have a downturn in fortune because they might not, they are all capable of scoring goals. Our future is in our own hands and to stay up we need to start scoring goals, consistently. At the start of the season we could not stop goals going into our net nor could we score goals. We now look to have a pretty robust defence so now need to get the consistency in scoring goals sorted out and I think that is down to TC, he was a striker - MM was a defender and has got his bit sorted but I think together they make a very successful team, so I do have hope, and there is still time. What freaks me however, is it seems almost every striker or midfielder we release goes elsewhere and scores goals! What also worries me is that we seem totally incapable of lowering the goals difference. Last week we reached parity with the second worst off team but now we have let it slip again. I think we need to try something new and at the moment that would appear to be by giving Wordsworth a start but in who's place? Come on you Blues get going and get us all cheering again.
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itfc1981 added 10:10 - Feb 11
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Guthrum added 10:20 - Feb 11
Even with the slump in form we've suffered from January 1st on, Town are still accruing a point a game (and a positive goal aggregate) with a win and two draws. Even if we can maintain only that level until the end of the season, we'll be in with a decent chance of safety (tho no more than that).

We're still scrapping, there's no run of losses, we haven't lost touch with our main rivals. All in all, still many reasons to be cautiously optimistic.
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algarvefan added 10:22 - Feb 11
itfc81 Love your sense of humour!

To be honest we could have gone down in any of the past 3 seasons, it don't look good and now it is ALL about confidence and ability to handle the pressure. The Scotland release is looking a bit silly now! All we can do is dig in and fight......if we have the guts for the battle?
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SouperJim added 10:23 - Feb 11
If stats are worth anything, Merlin has been in charge for 19 games and we've picked up 29 points in that time. Thats 1.47 points per game. If our form remains consistent over the last 15 games (which it won't, but for arguements sake), we'll finish on 57 points. More than 51 points has meant survival for 7 out of the lat 8 seasons (Leicester were relegated on 52 points in 2008).

So far we've picked up 1.12 points per game over the whole season (including the disastrous 3 months under Jewell). A point per game average from here on in will takes us to the magical 50 points, so unless our form from here on gets significantly worse than it has been, we'll be fine. Probably.
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RetroBlue added 10:48 - Feb 11
C'mon lads . We need to develop a siege mentality now and most of all be brave in the games and not afraid to have a go.

COYB's ......"gerr in ter 'em"!!!
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walberswick added 10:57 - Feb 11
doomed, doomed, we're all doomed
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yun added 11:00 - Feb 11
@Souperjim - thank you for your statistical reassurance! I think your hypothetical 57 points sounds about right.
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lojd added 11:11 - Feb 11
it's understandable that this weekend has caused some panic because of where we now sit in the league, but let's get a bit of perspective. This weekend has only been so bad because everyone else around us has done so well. At the bottom end of the league, weekends like this are very rare and the short term form that Barnsley, Bristol City and Peterborough are showing I'm sure will level out very soon.

As people keep pointing out our average points haul under MM is far better than what is required for our safety. I know things can change but I think the major worries we had earlier in the season were that we couldn't stop conceding and that was making us edgy and nervous even when we were winning games.

What comforts me is our defense looks reliable and strong. Strikers however, are much more influenced by confidence. MM is doing the right thing by sticking with a solid 442 and keeping the same strike partnership. Mcgouldrick and McClean are both good strikers, but they have come into a very unsettled side. Given the time to play together a few times and couple more goals each, I'm sure we'll all be singing their praises. MM has done the right thing here, Chopra clearly has issues and Scotland's influence was always going to decline at itfc, it's just unfortunate that he happens to be scoring for Barnsley!

Attacking midfield is where we need to see some improvement and the time is now for the likes of Martin, JET, Drury, Edwards to first show their potential on the training field and then do something on the pitch. They have all had a rough ride this year but it's a perfect opportunity for any one of them to step forward, pull it together and show their worth!
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Keaneish added 11:23 - Feb 11
A -2 for being positive? How does that happen? Even Walberswick only got a -1!
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lojd added 11:43 - Feb 11
Keaneish, I don't think people +/- vote because of the positive/negative nature of a comment. twtd is about sharing your opinions, it isn't a popularity contest. If that's what you see it as then maybe you need to get out more! I'm sure everyone would love us to get 7 points by March as you predict, maybe it's that people think you're being too optimistic? I for one think most of what you post is good and I haven't voted either way on the post you refer to. But I will find it sad if getting people to like your posts is the most important reason you have for posting.
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Lightningboy added 11:51 - Feb 11
Such a hotch-potch of a league that saturday's results were just typical..it will go to the last day if our so called "strikers" don't start pulling their weight..we seem to have sorted out the defence,now it's up to the forwards to start putting the ball in the net..as big a plonker as he seems to be,I still believe that Chopra is the man to get the goals.
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SimonthePieman added 11:52 - Feb 11
My stats aren't always the best but if we look at our form in 2013 (P6 W1 D2 L3 5points) & then carry that forward into the next 15 games, we might expect to pick up another 12 or 13 points which would give us 47 or 48 at the end of the season. Which ain't enough...
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warwickblue added 12:02 - Feb 11
No statistics...and no justifying arguments....but I just feel absolutely certain that we won't go down this year.
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Cheshire_Blue added 12:06 - Feb 11
The only difference between us and Blackburn was that they got lucky in a goalmouth scramble. Apart from that we again matched a team on the verge of the play offs. We should take heart from our recent performances against Cardiff, Boro' and Blackburn where we have given every indication that we are better than our current position in the league suggests. Our so called supporters should believe this and support the manager and his team through this difficult period as I believe we are far from doomed as one misguided comment wants to suggest.
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