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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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ScottCandage added 06:14 - Aug 2
We're going up. Book it.

irishtim added 06:47 - Aug 2
Go on MM & the lads. Top 6 would be fantastic. Best of luck tomorrow.

TractorCam added 07:10 - Aug 2
Would love to get off to a winning start but Reading are tough opposition, i think a point would be good

JohnyJohnson added 07:17 - Aug 2
Yep don't write anyone off this league always throws up surprises. Heres hoping we are the surprise team for once- for the right reasons COYB

RegencyBlue added 07:17 - Aug 2
Go MM!!

SheptonMalletBlue added 07:33 - Aug 2
Mick really talks sense, level headed, not all hype like some, really glad he's our manager, can't wait to be part of the 2,700!!!!!!!!!!!!!

bigolconnor added 07:33 - Aug 2
Excited?! Just a tad.

The best thing about it is that we have a team for the first time in ages. It seems as though they all want to play well for each other and the manager. Now we just need to make as much noise as possible and make them want to play well for us.

BossMan added 07:36 - Aug 2
2,700 is support to be proud of. No doubt Mick can give us a team to be proud of and so many of us going to Reading reminds those that have forgot that we are more than worthy of the Premier League.

SouperJim added 08:35 - Aug 2
Dare to believe.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 08:52 - Aug 2
I'll try, SouperJim, but I'm cautious. A point at Reading would do absolutely fine. Hope all the optimists won't desert us if it doesn't quite work out (nothing personal intended!)

lilcornishblue added 08:53 - Aug 2
 Getting very excited for tomorrow lets hope we can start the season with three points in the bag if both teams go full out tomorrow it should be an exciting game with a great atmosphere COYB!!!

Kesgraveblue57 added 09:03 - Aug 2
I think most manager's in this league would be targeting the play offs,yes I feel MM can get us there, for this team on paper really do have that chance to do that. I think it's the best side we have had in years and that is down to MM, but a good start is all important that gives momentum

terry_butchers_twin added 09:17 - Aug 2
This is the most optimistic I have felt for many years. Looking back at all the hype with Keane and Jewell that was all it was - hype. In Mick and Terry we have real substance and a squad sorted pre kick off. In Mick and Terry we have a leadership team, the last real leadership team was George and Dale, I can't wait for their achievement
Nts to be emulated!!! COYB.

bobble added 09:41 - Aug 2
2nd place.........

megamoth added 09:51 - Aug 2
It really is great that everyone is so optimistic. I hate to be a naysayer but l for one will be happy with upper mid-table and no more crazy 3 goal plus defeats. I would have been swept away with dreams of promotion if we had Stearman and one of DJC or Ebanks Blake. For me, we are still light in defence and are a proven striker short.

nardblue70 added 10:40 - Aug 2
For the first time in years I'm going into the new season excited & very much looking forward to a full season under MM. So looking forward to the game at Reading tomorrow & its going to be a great atmosphere in the away end & part of the home end......COYB

ChayITFC added 10:57 - Aug 2

Michael11 added 11:12 - Aug 2

I agree. If you offer me a 1-1 now i'd snatch your hand off. Obviously a win would be great, but places like Reading away will not determine where you finish at the end of the season. All the pressure's on them though so i'd like to see us go for it. COYB!!

mickymacsbarmyarmy added 11:28 - Aug 2

TractorBoy666 added 11:36 - Aug 2
A point would be great tomorrow, I'm just so happy that the season is back! Top 6 this season I feel, nothing less in my eyes with Mick and Terry. COYB

Tractorog added 11:36 - Aug 2
Getting wildly over optimistic before we kick a ball in earnest is part of being a supporter, but I haven't felt this good about a season for years!

jas0999 added 11:41 - Aug 2
Refreshing to hear. You have to have high expectations - MM is not here to settle for mid-table. I am looking forward to the season - whereas last year I almost expected us to get beat week in week out.

Beattiesballbag added 11:52 - Aug 2
As Mick said points matter performances matter more,
Reading would see a draw as 2 points dropped, we should look at it as a point gained anything more a bonus,
A good performance will give the confidence more of a boost for the next game plus would help towards getting people to come back to Portman road & a return to an atmosphere where the expectation of 3 points are the norm.

fifeblue added 12:04 - Aug 2
Town will finish in the top six this coming season. They'll be 1st, champions.

Southamptonblue added 13:49 - Aug 2
Tomorrow will be the first time I've been to an opening day match. Can't wait!

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