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Ipswich Town 2 v 2 AFC Bournemouth
SkyBet Championship
Monday, 21st April 2014 Kick-off 15:00
McCarthy: It's Still in the Mix
Monday, 21st Apr 2014 06:00

Boss Mick McCarthy says the final play-off place is “still in the mix” as the Blues go into today’s vital home game against fellow challengers AFC Bournemouth in eighth, one point behind Brighton in sixth. The Town manager was pleased with the performance at Watford on Saturday, despite the 3-1 defeat.

“I’m disappointed with the result but I’m not disappointed in how we played at all,” McCarthy said. “But who knows, it could all turn on its head.

“We all fancied Forest at one stage, we all fancied Reading, we all fancied Brighton. Bournemouth were flying, we just suddenly got a chance to get in the play-offs.

"It’s still in the mix, three games to go, see what happens. [There are a number of teams in with a chance] and we’re still one of them, and isn’t it great?”

Having seen the Good Friday results go in Town’s favour, McCarthy was disappointed that his side couldn’t capitalise against the Hornets: “We all thought they were all great results for us but unless we get our result it doesn’t make a blind bit of difference.”

The Town boss was pleased with goalscorer Anthony Wordsworth’s performance at Vicarage Road and believes the former Colchester man is capable of getting on the scoresheet regularly, Saturday’s equaliser having been his first of the season and only his second since joining the Blues in January 2013.

“I thought he played well when he got in against Brighton and Derby. I thought he played well today and I do think he’s got goals in him.

“I think he’s got better, he’s pulled his finger out. He trains hard, he plays well in the U21s. We know he’s got ability.”

Turning his attention to today’s game against the Cherries, who he watched lose 4-2 at home to Sheffield Wednesday on Good Friday, McCarthy has been impressed with them since their promotion from League One last summer.

“They’re a good side,” he said. “They’ve spent a few quid, by the way, they’re not just cobbled together by begging, stealing and borrowing.

“They’ve spent a few quid on wages, they took Yann Kermorgant for a good fee and a good salary from Charlton in January.

“Fair play to them, they won something like eight out of 10 games, which is a remarkable run. I said last week that they’d go to Yeovil, the bottom team in the league, and they wouldn’t win.

“But they are a good side, they’ve got good players and they get a day’s extra rest [following their Good Friday] as well.”

He says that the few quid the Cherries have spent is why the Dorset club are 10th and challenging for the play-offs, while last season’s other promoted League One teams, Yeovil and Doncaster, are at the other end of the table.

“There’s Bournemouth at one end and there’s Yeovil at the other,” he added. “Yeovil have got no money, poor Gary Johnson has been the loan ranger, just getting loans all the time, keeping taking people in. He did a great job getting them up and he’s had some really good results.

“Bournemouth have spent a few quid. Doncaster, the other ones who came up, have not spent the same amount but haven’t scrimped at it either. Richie Wellens is there, I think he commands a few quid. And they’ve had decent loans, Federico Macheda from Manchester United amongst them.

“But there are two of them in the bottom six and then Bournemouth who are flying. It depends on what investment you get what players you get.”

McCarthy will have to weigh up what changes to make to his team with today’s game coming so soon after Saturday’s match at Watford.

Dean Gerken will continue in goal and the back four is similarly set to be unchanged with skipper Luke Chambers at right-back, Aaron Cresswell on the left and Christophe Berra and Tommy Smith in the middle.

The Blues boss will probably stick with Cole Skuse and Luke Hyam in the centre of midfield but may look at changes elsewhere with Wordsworth and Frank Nouble having been in and out of the side and perhaps not up to playing two matches in such quick succession.

Paul Anderson is an option on the right of midfield, depending on the system employed and whether he is over the hamstring problem which saw him miss the trip to Watford, as is Paul Green, while Stephen Hunt is an alternative on the left.

McCarthy was confident that Jonny Williams would be fit despite picking up a knock late on against the Hornets and if so the on-loan Palace man is a certain starter along with main striker Daryl Murphy.

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake is unlikely to be OK to be involved having suffered a hamstring injury in training last week, but second-choice keeper Scott Loach could be back in the 18 having missed the weekend trip to his former club having woken up with a back problem on Saturday morning.

Bournemouth will have midfielder Harry Arter available again after a three-match suspension following a red card in the recent 2-1 home victory over QPR, while striker Lewis Grabban faces a fitness test.

Arter made a couple of appearances for the Town reserves in 2009 while on trial at Portman Road, while David McGoldrick spent three months on loan with the Cherries at the end of the 2006/07 season, scoring six goals in 12 games.

At Dean Court in December, Town stretched their unbeaten record to seven games as the sides drew 1-1. Daryl Murphy put the Blues in front in the 59th minute but Brett Pitman equalised for the Cherries on 74.

Prior to this season the teams last met in the League Cup first round back in the 1996/97 season when Town ran out 2-1 victors in the home first leg via goals from Paul Mason and Ian Marshall, Steve Fletcher scoring for the Cherries, and 3-0 winners at Dean Court when Alex Mathie, James Scowcroft and Mick Stockwell were on the scoresheet.

The last league game between the sides at Portman Road was back in the old Division Two during John Duncan’s time in charge in the 1989/90 season with Jason Dozzell scoring for the Blues and Peter Shearer for the Cherries as the game ended 1-1.

Overall, Town have won 14 (10 in the league), the Cherries 11 (11), while 10 (eight) games have been draws.

Prior to kick-off the club are holding a Family Fun Day on the Field Turf behind the East of England Co-op Stand, while there were still some free tickets for under-16s available over the weekend.

Today’s referee is Portman Road anti-hero Andy D’Urso, who has shown 98 yellow cards and nine red in 33 games so far this season.

The Billericay-based official’s most recent Blues match was the 1-1 home draw with Barnsley in November when Aaron Cresswell was shown a red card – the only one at a Town game this season – after the final whistle for continuing his protests following a late unsuccessful penalty claim.

Squad from: Gerken, Loach, Crowe, Chambers, Richardson, Cresswell, Mings, Berra, Smith, Skuse, Hyam, Wordsworth, Anderson, Green, Hunt, Tabb, Henshall, Williams, Nouble, Murphy, Taylor, Marriott.

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Langdon_Blue added 07:15 - Apr 21
Looking forward to today's game. The whole family are coming along too...COYB's, the Play offs are very much in reach with a win today!

whittonite added 07:18 - Apr 21
what i have been happy about this season is that we have made steady progress.if we dont make the playoffs at least our season didnt fizzle out with 6 or 7 games left.and if we do it's going to be a hell of a nail biter with burnley being the last game !from now to the finish it's just a sprint for the line.this is what i pay to watch,our team competing for the medals.

floridaboy added 07:27 - Apr 21
Need to play Wordsworth today. That said I have a very bad feeling about the result!

We do seem to bottle it in games that matter and have done over the years

Come on Town prove me wrong please

Flewitt85 added 07:35 - Apr 21
Nothing much has changed despite we lost at watford, we still have to win all our games.

yes it was in our hands before the watford games and now we need someone to slip up but I still think we can do it!

Even if we dont make it please dont start coming on here moaning about this and that cause we have come a very long way from last season and I believe with every season under MM we WILL keep going that one step forward and end up in the premiership.


essexboy added 07:37 - Apr 21
Big crowd,big win,then all to play for.COYB.!

karls_dad added 08:26 - Apr 21
Now i,m going to have to be the Devils advocate here, firstly the question arise,s are we good enough to reach the playoffs? i do not think so, secondly if we were to get sixth spot, are we good enough to win them? i still do not think so, and then thirdly should we win them and gain promotion, are we good enough to survive in the Prem? well with the current squad thats a definate no!
So what will we gain by reaching sixth, a few more games that could give us some entertaining football, some more money in the bank at PR, some fans feeling a let down as to what if?
Now that may all sound so very negative and maybe it is, but i think we are still a team with work in progress, we have under Micks guidance performed a minor miracle to be where we are, so on that note i,m forgetting all about a playoff place and just enjoying what games we have left,
Then maybe just maybe nest season we will not be chasing a place but be right up there with a job done points tally, given Micks ability and TC of course and possibly a few quid spent in the summer, next year will be our year.. bring on August!

Langdon_Blue added 08:39 - Apr 21
Karls Dad - I understand where you are coming from, forgive me for answering your questions with questions but...which team playing for 6th spot do you think is that much better than us? A win today and you could argue our form is actually better than all of them. Are we good enough to win the play offs? Well think back to the 90's when we were the best team in the play off places and still missed out. They are a lottery. If we got to the Prem the budget changes overnight and we can strengthen our squad accordingly. Enjoy the game today Karls Dad, let's get behind the team and see where that takes us.

jas0999 added 08:43 - Apr 21
Although stating the obvious, we need to win today. No other result will do. Tough game and hoping Mick doesn't start with just one striker.

Surco72 added 08:59 - Apr 21
All games should now be treated like cup finals the same approach as Sunderland have taken , lets really go for it absolutely nothing to lose , have over achieved already this season and I am sure Bournemouth will give it a right go as the loser of this one is season over .

tcc4 added 09:00 - Apr 21
Should be a big crowd today lets get right behind the team from start to finish and make the 12th man. I don't think anybody realistically thought we would be 1 point off play offs with 3 games to go so we have nothing to lose. Does anyone know who our penalty taker is with mcgoldrik out? Can't remember the last time we got a pen so fancy it today

carlo88 added 09:15 - Apr 21
Not sure about Mick's analogy regarding investment and league position. We were spending lots of money a few years back but were constantly scraping around the bottom of the table 'cos we had managers making stupid decisions. Now we're not spending money, have a decent manager and are pushing for the top six. Go figure.

ericclacton added 09:19 - Apr 21
Don't play Murph out wide, put him in the middle, I thankyou.

HALLSJ added 09:20 - Apr 21
Brighton will win at home anyway, hopefully we can win to take it to tha last two, knowing footie Brighton and us will lose

TrumptonBlue added 09:28 - Apr 21
Anyone remember that last Bournemouth game at PR in 89/90? Jason Dozzell scored and was still waving at the crowd a minute later when the fella he should have been picking up scored the equaliser. Great days.

Len_Brennan added 09:48 - Apr 21
Carlo88: I was reading that bit with a bit of puzzlement too. I think Mick has finally reached the point where his frustration at having no transfer funds has gotten to him & he is making a point to ME & the joint CEs perhaps. All year he has towed the partyline of making do with what he has been given, maybe now he feels that one or two 'bought'players in the squad might just have made the difference in securing the playoff spot.
It may be a good strategy ahead of the summer transfer window.

theobald1985 added 10:04 - Apr 21
im sure the players mick has brought in are on decent enough money people like ebanks blake hunt skuse berra etc all decent players at this level.
do get a bit bored of these lack of investment moans.
are we not just facing up to a new era where large transfer fees will be uncommon outside the top flight-the bottom line is there are more professional standard players than there are clubs for them to play for. would people be more happy if we had paid 750k for berra or a million for ebanks blake?

need A win today need to attack from the off as bournmouths weakest area is defence COYB

ian_marshall added 10:06 - Apr 21
Looking forward to game hope there's a big crowd and loads of noise, nothing to lose let's go for it!

rolly added 10:16 - Apr 21
I've heard so many people say that we aren't good enough for the PL. I think that's the most ridiculous statement - who the hell has ever gone up with a squad that is good enough for the premier league? No one. Also I would back Mick to keep us in the premier league all day long.. Just like I back him to get is there. And not next season, this.

tractordaddy added 10:32 - Apr 21
Regarding past games against Bournemouth, I can remember Dalian Atkinson smashing one in from 30 yards, top corner in the pouring rain. Was one of the best goals I've seen a PR. I think that game ended 3-1 to us.

Regarding today, I haven't a clue, I've long given up predicting what our club will do on the pitch, it's impossible. What I will say though is that if we do make the playoffs from the position we are in, it would mean we would have been in good form, and the team that creeps into the playoffs on the last day usually takes that form with them into the playoffs.

The biggest ask would be us beating one of those teams over 2 legs, if we could do that, a one off game at wembley is open to any eventuality on the day.

essextractorboy93 added 10:38 - Apr 21
D'Urso is the referee today, god help us! How this guy has made a career out of being a referee is beyond me!

Should be an interesting match though, Howe is a good upcoming manager and Bournemouth are a slick passing side, was impressed with them down at Dean Court. Also I don't understand why all Championship games weren't put on Friday? You would never see teams getting a one day rest between matches in the Premier League. Make some noise and let's get the 3 points! COYB!

BlueHennee added 11:03 - Apr 21
Today will be a tough game. I watched the away fixture at Bournemouth & they were by far the better team: attacked with the ball, running at our defence all game. Plus Cressy had a mare of a game that day which didn't help. We were lucky with the 1-1 result. Need to set the team up positively today & attack them. If we keep hoofing it they will play the ball & are a dangerous team! Got to have hope though till the final whistle. COYB!

Tractamatt added 11:13 - Apr 21
It's been a great season compared to the last 2 or 3 and while we may not be 6th at the end we are more than deserving of a top 8 finnish and I for one would be more than happy with that for this season. Also with our turn around will come more of a budget and expect money, not loads but 2-3 million, to be spent where needed. COYB

bluemagic74 added 11:43 - Apr 21
COYB!! Make some noise 4 the tractor boys 2day, will be there doing my part so come on from all stands lets be counted. Blue army, mickmer mick, mer mickmer...

WhoisJimmyJuan added 11:48 - Apr 21
Funny. I'm seeing the most level-headed posts on here than I've seen for ages. I also feel that if we get into the play-offs, then great and I do hope it happens. Badly. But I will not be gutted if we don't. I also don't think we are ready for it this season, but are getting there steadily. I just hope we get at least one win out of the last 3 and finish in the top ten. That would be excellent progress in itself.

Thetfordtractor added 12:37 - Apr 21
Tractor daddy. Well remembered. I was at that game, it was my first date with my girlfriend, now wife! If you want me to love ya, then u better love the towun! Coyb

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