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AFC Bournemouth: Championship is so bonkers reckons Ipswich boss
NEVER one to mince his words, Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy’s summation of the Championship being “so bonkers” is fairly accurate.
And previewing Town’s clash with Cherries following their 3-0 win at Doncaster on Boxing Day, McCarthy said: “We want more of the same now but Bournemouth will want to slap us!”
The straight-talking Yorkshireman has worked the oracle since taking the reins at Portman Road just three weeks after Eddie Howe returned to Dean Court.
Unveiled at the start of November 2012, McCarthy replaced Paul Jewell with Ipswich marooned at the foot of the Championship, having taken just seven points from their opening 13 games.
By the end of his first month at the helm, the Tractor Boys had hauled themselves out of the relegation zone and went on to finish in a comfortable 14th position.
One of the busiest managers in the division in the summer, McCarthy drafted in a host of new faces with striker David McGoldrick proving a canny acquisition.
A key figure in the McCarthy revival during a loan spell last season, McGoldrick made the move permanent when he joined from Coventry City.
On target for the Sky Blues when they beat managerless Cherries in October 2012, McGoldrick has netted 11 times for Ipswich, including four in their past four games.
The 26-year-old played a crucial role in Cherries avoiding relegation to the bottom flight during a loan spell from Southampton in 2007.
Arriving with the club three points adrift of safety, McGoldrick hit six goals in 12 games, his exploits going a long way to ensuring they would finish five points clear of the drop zone in 19th.
McCarthy’s other summer recruits included Bristol City trio Dean Gerken, Paul Anderson and Cole Skuse, Daryl Murphy from Celtic, Christophe Berra from his former club Wolves and Jay Tabb from Reading.
They were all on duty for Ipswich’s win at the Keepmoat, as was Manchester United loan star Ryan Tunnicliffe who has been a key figure in their impressive first half to the season.
McCarthy has also reunited with prolific striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, the 27-year-old free agent last month penning a deal until the end of the season.
The former Wolves man has not played since April after suffering a broken ankle and ligament damage and is not expected to return until next month.
Ipswich, who have suffered just one defeat in their past 10 league games, will be bidding to extend to eight matches their unbeaten run on the road when they face Cherries.
The sequence has included wins at Blackpool (3-2), Charlton (1-0) and Doncaster (3-0), and draws against Derby (4-4), Sheffield Wednesday (1-1), Bolton (1-1) and Nottingham Forest (0-0).
Cherries: (from) Camp, Francis, Elphick, Ward, Daniels, O’Kane, Ritchie, Surman, Fraser, Grabban, Pugh, MacDonald, Rantie, Pitman, Addison, Harte, Hughes, Thomas, McQuoid, Yennaris, Allsop.
Blues: (from) Gerken, Chambers, Cresswell, Skuse, Berra, Smith, Hyam, Tunnicliffe, McGoldrick, Murphy, Nouble, Edwards, Anderson, Mings, Graham, Tabb, Taylor, Loach.
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