Manager Simon Grayson is looking forward to taking on Mick McCarthy and his Ipswich Town side this weekend.
Speaking ahead of the long distance clash, the gaffer said a repeat of his side’s last away game, at Queens Park Rangers last Saturday, was exactly what he was looking for.
“It was good last weekend,” he said. “We were delighted how we performed, with and without the ball. We made it difficult for the opposition, played well with it ourselves and we are looking for a repeat of that this week.
“We know what to expect. A Mick McCarthy team is always very disciplined, organised and they are an experienced team. It is a difficult place to go, but we have had some good results there recently.
“Mick will know, having watched out last couple of games, what we can do and we want to finish this run of games – going into the international break – on a positive manner, like every club does. No team wants to suffer a heavy defeat and be dwelling on it for a couple of weeks; we want to go to Portman Road and build off the last couple of results. We have had good results and good performances, but we have to keep improving all the time.”
The Tractor Boys’ manager Mick McCarthy has been in the news this week for speaking his mind after their excellent derby day draw with Norwich City and the Lilywhites chief thinks his fellow Yorkshireman deserves a lot of credit for telling things as he sees them.
“Mick is a really good friend and I like him,” he continued. “He has been there and done it and he says things how he sees it; more so than anybody.
“He’s a fantastic bloke, gets his teams going and if somebody upsets him, he will let them know.
“As a manager you often feel the same way and Mick says what he thinks and sometimes people don’t understand what managers have to go through when picking teams, in training sessions, on a Saturday, in transfer negotiations – everyone thinks they know what is going on, but that’s modern day football – it was a lot easier 30 years ago when no one could criticise you!
“Mick will use what has happened as a positive. He will get his team up, want to prove people wrong and prove that he is doing the right things and I certainly believe that he is doing the right things because he has some good players there.
“We will go and try and put on a good performance, like we did last weekend. We know we will be in for a tough game, whatever happens.”
Many observers have spoken of similarities between the two clubs and Grayson can see why: “You have to put together a squad in relation to your budget. Ipswich have been a Premier League clubs and have been very close in the past few years of being in the Play-Offs and getting back to that level and full credit to Mick, who has done a fantastic job.
“When you have success, people want more success and that isn’t always easy to replicate, because you have so many other clubs who are trying to do the same thing.
“They will keep working away to do the best for their football club and we will do the same for ours and as long as you are doing that, you can wake up every morning and feel happy with yourself,” he added.