Mick under no illusions as to how tough the weekend's clash will be but is boosted by almost fully fit squad to choose from
- Boss expecting tough test
- Hoping for McGoldrick fitness boost
- Connolly part of the squad making the trip
Mick McCarthy is under no illusions just how tough a task his Town players will face at Fulham this weekend.
The Blues make the Valentine’s Day trip to Craven Cottage to take on a Fulham side who were tipped by many for an instant return to the Premier League but instead find themselves in 18th place.
However the boss knows the quality at the disposal of manager Kit Symons and is expecting another tough encounter, although perhaps the same style of play, from when the two sides met back in August.
“They’ve still got a similar style to when we met on the opening day,” Mick told the official Club website.
“They’ve been playing a diamond and they like to pass the ball out from the back. They’ve got some very good players and it’s going to be another difficult Championship game.
“They’ve spent a fair bit of money on [Ross] McCormack up front and they’ve got Tunnicliffe in midfield, who we had with us for part of last season.
“Over the course of the season they’ve had a lot of change which doesn’t help but I think Kit [Symons] is doing okay there.
“Injury wise we are looking okay, it’s only really David McGoldrick who we are waiting on but we’re hoping Didz will be fine.
“Aside from that it’s only the long-term injuries of Luke Hyam and Alex Henshall that we expect to be without.”
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Mick McCarthy has included recent addition Dylan Connolly in the travelling matchday squad, with the winger impressing in training since joining from January. The boss is also hoping David McGoldrick is fit after missing the win over Sheffield Wednesday in midweek although Luke Hyam and Alex Henshall again miss out through injury.
Fulham boss Kit Symons is likely to field former Town loanee Ryan Tunnicliffe in midfield, who has established himself as a regular in the side since returning from a loan spell at Championship-rivals Blackburn Rovers. Scott Parker has been struggling with illness but should be fine, although Tim Hoogland is unlikely to be risked after only just returning from a serious injury.
Where they currently stand
Earlier this season
The two sides met at Portman Road on the opening day of the season, with the game shown live on Sky Sports. Town took the spoils that day as a goal in each half from Daryl Murphy and David McGoldrick saw the Blues ease past Felix Magath’s side although a late strike from Tim Hoogland ensured a nervy finish.