Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says that the Lilywhites have punched above their weight, but have done very well so far this season.
Speaking ahead of his side’s trip up to Deepdale, the former Republic of Ireland manager held his pre-match press conference and feels that his opposite number has picked up the baton left by his predecessor and taken it on.
“[Alex] has done a really good job having taken over from a predecessor who left them in a good shape,” he said. “He inherited a really solid base and he has added to that.
“TC [Terry Connor – Mick’s assistant] was at their game on Tuesday at Villa and said they were very good and it will be a tough game.
“The are punching above their weight. They have done very well, but Simon had done very well beforehand. Alex has changed it slightly and they are good well.”
The Tractor Boys have had a season that has been blighted by injuries to key players, but the experienced boss says they have been positive in their approach and that goals will come.
“We have had attacking teams on the pitch; I have tried to pick a team to play that way,” he added. “Maybe it is just that time of the season and if I knew the reason for it [not scoring as many goals], then I would be far wealthier than I am!
“Waggy [Martyn Waghorn] has been different class with his assists from corners and free kicks and he is a major part of this team.”
And he says that his flexibility in terms of formation is what is needed to get results: “We have been alright on the road. We have played alright and well enough.
“My job is to get results and if I think that 4-4-2 won't get it then I would be a silly, belligerent old man if it wasn't the best for the team. I am a bit more flexible, there has to be a plan B.”