‘I’m not stupid’ - Mick McCarthy out to land a first East Anglian derby win

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy will bid to win his first East Anglian derby on Sunday. Picture b

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy will bid to win his first East Anglian derby on Sunday. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Mick McCarthy has assured Ipswich supporters he knows exactly what the East Anglian derby means to them ahead of Sunday’s lunchtime clash with Norwich City at Portman Road (12pm ko).

McCarthy is still waiting for his first victory in this fixture, and was in charge for a two-legged Championship play-off semi-final final exit in 2015.

“I was asked this morning ‘does it rankle that I’ve not beaten them yet?’,” said McCarthy. “Trust me, I don’t carry every result around of who I’ve not beaten.

“But, bearing in mind it’s a while since we’ve won this derby and we lost our last home game to Bristol City, I think we do owe the fans a performance. It would be pivotal to win.

“All I know is they’ll see me in a really good light if we win. Let’s leave it at that shall we?

“It’s not just three points in terms of what it means to everybody, but I’ve never been given four points for winning one.

“I’m not stupid, I picked up what it means to everyone ahead of the first time we played them. I’ve been in the game long enough to know what derbies mean to everyone.

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“The fact that not everybody at my club, at Ipswich, were born and brought up here doesn’t mean we aren’t fully aware of what it means to fans.

“That’s what the game is about, the fans who come and support. Without the fans we’d be goosed.

“I was at the club golf day the other day and it was the elephant in the room. You know somebody wants to come and speak to you about the game and say ‘you’ve got to win’ and ‘if you win only one game this season make it this one’. They say ‘make sure you give them a good team talk’ and all the rest of it.

“I get it. That just emphasises to me what it means to the fans who come and watch us play.

“It would be important to me whoever we are playing though. And don’t underestimate my feelings for derbies either because I’ve played in a lot and I’ve managed in a lot. The strength of feeling never surprises me.”

A new-look Norwich started the season poorly under German head coach Daniel Farke but head into this game unbeaten in eight.

“I don’t see great changes in terms of the way they are playing,” said McCarthy. “They’ve looked pretty solid and organised off the ball I have to say.

“Their results have picked up and they’ve got some good players. They’ve still got those parachute payments coming in which they’ve spent over two or three years – some it’s worked, some of it hasn’t and they are still in the same league as I am.”