McCarthy Targeting Top Six
Friday, 2nd Aug 2013 06:00
Town manager Mick McCarthy is targeting a play-off place as the Blues go into his first full season in charge at Portman Road.
The Town boss says the approach will be much the same as last year, hopefully bringing the same results: “Don’t get beat and let’s try and score more goals.
"That mantra would have seen us in the top six from November, I don’t see anything wrong with that.”
That impressive form after he took over on November 1st has naturally led to increased hope that Town might finally escape the Championship after 12 years, with 2,700 Blues making the opening day trip to the Madejski Stadium.
McCarthy says he’s unconcerned about any additional pressure that that might bring: “I’m not bothered about people’s expectations. They pay good money to come and watch us. We gave them some reason to have some expectation, didn’t we?
“So, if victims of our own small bit of success last season, which it was staying in the league, then so be it.
“The bonus scheme here, and it was the same at Wolves, you’re in the top six or you get diddly. That’s where we want to be. We’ll soon find out whether that’s feasible or not.”
He’s says he's not sure whether the division will be quite as close as it was in 2012/13: “Last year was bonkers. If someone had told me we’d need nearly 60 points to stay up I’d have swerved it, I think, when we’d got seven in November!
“Whether it’ll be as tight as that again, I don’t know. Possibly, looking at what teams have done. Will there be any standout teams?
“We’ll all again look at QPR, Reading and Wigan. If we look at what happened [with the relegated sides] last season, I don’t see that happening again. I don’t see the three who have come down struggling like they did.
“Having seen what can happen to teams last year they’ll be better prepared and won’t let it happen. The rest of us are all much of a muchness. Time will tell, we’ll soon find out.”
McCarthy says that in addition to the relegated clubs there were some good sides in the division last year with a number of them currently in the process of strengthening: “I think the three that have come down have got really good squads. I think Nottingham Forest have started adding to theirs. It seems Leeds have added a few to theirs.
“Leicester had a really good squad. Watford did, although I don’t know what’s happened with their loans. There were some really good teams and we’re aiming at the top six. That’s where we’ve got to be.”
Despite being a veteran of plenty of Championship campaign, 54-year-old McCarthy admits that there’ll be a few nerves prior to kick off at the Madejski Stadium: “I’m not nervous now but come Saturday before the game I will be and I hope I am because that means I’m concerned about it.
“If I’m chilled and blasé then there’ll be something wrong with that. That’s how I am in pre-season because the games don’t matter. But Reading’s a different game all together, that matters.
“Points matter, performances matter more and we’re now playing in front of a paying public which demands us to play well and win games, and I do as well, I demand that. So, the nerves will be there.”
Photo: Action Images
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