Ipswich Town boss: Football League fixture computer must be a Norwich City fan!
10:52 06 March 2014
Copyright Ashley Pickering
“I think the fixture computer is a Norwich fan!”
Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy has made light of his ‘geographically challenged’ side’s busy schedule for the remaining 13 games of the Championship campaign.
The Blues face a 500-mile round trip to the north east, for Saturday’s game at Middlesbrough, and will then cover 400 miles for next Tuesday’s match at south west side Yeovil. The beginning of April also presents a similarly gruelling Saturday-Tuesday scenario, with Town travelling to the north west twice in the space of four days for games against Blackburn and Huddersfield.
“It is what it is, it’s not ideal,” admitted McCarthy, whose low-budget side are just four points adrift of the play-off places. “I think the computer is a Norwich fan!”
To make matters worse, three Ipswich players have been away on international duty this week. Daryl Murphy and Paul Green were with the Republic or Ireland squad for last night’s friendly match against Serbia, in Dublin, while Christophe Berra was with Scotland for their friendly against Poland in Warsaw.
The only saving grace was that Tommy Smith decided to make himself unavailable for New Zealand’s friendly against Japan in Tokyo.
“I’ve already spoken to Christophe,” said McCarthy. “If he comes back into Scotland on Thursday then there is no point him coming back down here to travel with us on the Friday. He may as well go straight to Middlesbrough.
“That’s not the ideal preparation for the game, but that’s what it is. We just get on with it.”
With six home games left, the Blues also have trips to Brighton, Watford and Burnley to play in addition to the aforementioned Middlesbrough-Yeovil, Blackburn-Huddersfield back-to-back matches.
“With the Blackburn-Huddersfield one the question is do you go up and stay up (in the north west)? If you do then it’s a long old time from leaving on Friday afternoon and getting back on Wednesday morning.
“I think the benefit of being up there and preparing is counter-balanced by players not seeing their kids, being bored out of their box and not being able to do what they want to do on their day off. We take them to the pictures or bowling but they don’t want to be there.”