Write us off at your peril warns Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy ahead of Norwich City play-off duel

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy is ready for the tension of a Championship play-off semi-final again

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy is ready for the tension of a Championship play-off semi-final against Norwich. Picture: Pagepix Ltd.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy is not bothered if the Blues are written off ahead of their Championship play-off semi-final tussles against East Anglian rivals Norwich City.

The Canaries head to Portman Road on Saturday for a first leg tie against a Town outfit who squeezed into the top six on goal difference after losing 3-2 to Blackburn on the final weekend of the regular season.

Norwich finished eight points and three places ahead of their neighbours, but McCarthy insists Town will be ready to rumble after losing their last four derby battles.

'Most observers with no vested interest are going to think it will be Norwich. Happy days if that is the case,' said McCarthy. 'They've beaten us twice, which I don't think that does us any harm to be quite honest. The first game I felt they were the best squad in the league and Alex Neil when he took over has probably proved that if you look at the results they have had. It was only Middlesbrough at home and another iffy result I think along the way but they have been outstanding since he came in. They beat us 2-0 (at Carrow Road). We didn't really play against them that day.

'I thought they should have been promoted and honestly in the last weeks of the season I thought they would do it and be up there. Congratulations to the two who have done it. Whoever goes up this year will have deserved it. We got 78 points and scraped in on goal difference. That is crazy.'

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McCarthy, speaking to Talksport on Monday morning, conceded there is a gulf in resources between the two clubs.

'Norwich have a terrific squad. We had a squad that has been put together for next to nothing,' he said. 'We have spent £110,000, £10,000 on Tyrone Mings and £100,000 on Freddie Sears. I have a great set of lads to work with, they are a joy, they all want it, they give everything every week. We don't play well every week but very rarely do we leave anything on the pitch.

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'I'm delighted we are in the play-offs. It is a real achievement by the lads. It has been a great season so far and we have an opportunity to make it even greater by getting in the Premier League. It is within our grasp. We've had a go in every game so we are not going to stop doing that now.'

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