Boss ready for Amex challenge as Town look to strengthen top six credentials
Sixth placed Town can open up a four point gap on the clubs below with a win at fellow promotion chasers Brighton tonight.
Victory would also take Blues to within a point of fifth placed Burnley, with Mick McCarthy’s side travelling to Turf Moor at the weekend.
Town were top and Brighton second when the two clubs met at Portman Road at the end of August. The Seagulls left with the three points and have remained in and around the automatic promotion places since, under the guidance of Mick’s former Republic of Ireland international team-mate, Chris Hughton.
“Chris has done a great job there but I’m not surprised. He has a good way about him and gets the best out of people,” the Town boss told Ipswich Player HD.
“They had relative success before, getting to the Play-Offs and then they had a dip and changed their manager.
“Since Chris has gone in there, he has stabilised it and made them hard to beat. It will be a tough game for us and it should be a cracking atmosphere under the lights at the Amex, I’m looking forward to it.”
It will be Town’s last game of 2015 and whatever happens at the Amex, Blues will go into the new year in the top six.
“It’s been a good year for us. We started 2015 in the top six and we have finished it in the top six,” added Mick. “We have made progress, let’s hope we are in the top six come the end of the season.”
Manchester United loanee James Wilson could return after illness while hamstring victim Gordon Greer faces a late fitness test. Solly March is out for the season with knee ligament damage while Uwe Hunemeier is also sidelined with a groin problem.
David McGoldrick faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury. Teddy Bishop (hamstring) and Larsen Tourse (groin) are also out but Luke Hyam was back on the bench for the Boxing Day win over QPR for the first time in almost a year after recovering from a knee injury.
Where they stand
Brighton – 4th
Town – 6th
Last time we met
In a top two clash, Brighton jumped above Blues to take pole position after a 3-2 win at Portman Road in August. It was the second successive 3-2 victory for the Seagulls over Town, with Chris Hughton’s side coming out on top at the Amex in January 2015. Town will equal a club record of five successive away victories going back to December 1976 if Mick McCarthy’s side win tonight.
The striker opened his goal account for Town at Brighton last season after joining from Colchester and he hasn’t looked back. Whether down the middle, or operating on the left, he has caught the eye and carried a threat.
A popular figure with the Town fans when he was on loan at Portman Road for the first half of the 2011/12 season, the ‘keeper joined Brighton from Fulham in 2014 and has been a regular between the sticks since then. Was at his best in their goalless draw with Brentford on Boxing Day, when he drew praise from both managers.
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Assistant referee: Daniel Leach
Assistant referee: Robert Mackay
Fourth official: James Linington
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