Mick McCarty believes Town will be going head to head with Premier League bound opponents tonight.
Blues travel to the Amex Stadium to face second placed Brighton, who have a six point buffer over the chasing pack.
Chris Hughton’s side lost out on automatic promotion to Middlesbrough on the final day of last season and then went down in the Play-Off semi-final to Sheffield Wednesday.
“Chris has galvanised them after last season’s disappointment of losing out in the Play-Offs and they have come back strong,” the Town boss told Ipswich Player HD.
“I think they will go up this year and good luck to them if they do.
“They have got a good squad of players but Chris is getting the best out of them.
“I played alongside him for a long time with Ireland. He was a top player and he’s gone on to be a very good coach and manager as well.
“He’s done a great job wherever he has gone. He’s been very successful and I’m delighted for him because he’s a good pal of mine. I want my team to beat him tonight though! We had a good win at Villa and want to build on that."
Subscribers to Ipswich Player can watch the full interview with Mick now and hear live commentary from the Amex. Kick-off 7.45pm.