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18 March 2016

Blues boss is excited to facing an old friend as Rotherham come to town on Saturday

Town boss Mick McCarthy is looking forward to facing off against an old friend as Rotherham come to Portman Road tomorrow afternoon.

The gaffer and Neil Warnock have been friends for over three decades and having faced off against him in the managerial game plenty of times before, he knows exactly what to expect from one of his sides.

“Neil and I go way back, thirty years or so,” he said.

“Mind you, he’s a lot older than me! I was an apprentice at Barnsley when we was a pro there and we’ve been pals for a long time.

“He’s one of the more colourful managers in the game and sometimes what he has achieved in football gets lost in all that. It shouldn’t because he has proved himself to be a very successful manager.

“Neil gets players playing for him. We have seen that wherever he has gone and he’s doing it again at Rotherham. They looked to be heading down but he’s gone in there and got them going.

“They’ve had some terrific results lately, beating Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday and coming back from three down in the last ten minutes to get a draw against Derby last weekend.

“He will have his players fired up for today and we will have to match that.”

Team News


New loanee, Liam Feeney will be available to take on Neil Warnock’s Rotherham tomorrow after his signing was completed on Thursday morning, although Dean Gerken is likely to miss the game through illness. Ryan Fraser, Teddy Bishop and David McGoldrick [hamstring] remain out, although the latter will return to action for the Blues’ U21 side on Monday.

Rotherham United

Jerome Thomas will be unavailable for the Millers on their trip to Suffolk after the midfielder picked up an injury in last weekend’s thrilling 3-3 draw with Derby County, but Greg Halford will return from his one-game suspension. Warnock confirmed in his pre-match press conference that defender, Richard Wood is a doubt for the game, although Lloyd Doyley could return after taking part in a full week of training. Luciano Becchio, however, remains a long-term absentee with a hamstring injury.


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Where They Stand

Town – 8th

Rotherham United – 22nd

Last Time they met

Having yet to score in the 2015/16 season, Daryl Murphy kick-started his campaign when these two sides last met in November with the Irishman bagging a hat-trick in a 5-2 win. Brett Pitman and Jonathan Douglas had the Blues 2-0 up with little over 20 minutes on the clock, before Murphy extended the lead to three right on the stroke of half-time. He didn’t waste any time in making it four after the restart, as he slotted home just minutes into the second period with Town looking to be on easy street. The Millers fought their way back into the game with quick-fire goals from Brandon Barker and Matt Derbyshire, but Murphy gave his side plenty of breathing room again with an emphatic finish to complete his hat-trick, and mark an impressive victory.

Key Players

Daryl Murphy

His double helped see off Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday, and moved Town back to within a point of the top-six. His goals also helped move him into double figures for the season, and the Blues will need him to be on form going into the final nine games of the regular Championship season. He may be a long way off his 27-goal haul of last season, but his contribution will be a valuable one if Town are to make the Play-Offs this season.

Leon Best

The former Newcastle and Blackburn striker opened his Millers account last weekend as his late double helped claw Neil Warnock’s side level having been 3-0 down at home to Derby. After being sent off on his debut against Leeds in November, followed by a long spell out with injury, Best will be looking to become a regular fixture in Rotherham’s starting line-up as they battle to avoid the drop.

Sky Bet Odds

Town: 4/5
Draw: 13/5
Blackburn: 7/2

Match Officials

Referee: Stephen Martin
Assistant Referees: William Bull & Matthew Buonassisi
Fourth Official: Gavin Muge

After the game, Simon Milton will host a Q&A with an array of ex-players in Legends bar. 

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