Blues face Ipswich in tonight’s live Sky game at Portman Road (Sky Sports 5 from 7pm, KO 7.45pm). Town manager Mick McCarthy isn’t taking too much notice of league positions at this early stage of the season.
Town, who are currently fifth, will go into second spot if they pick up the three points this evening. As for Blues they could go up to third before the rest of the fixtures take place tomorrow afternoon.
Blues suffered their first defeat of the season on Tuesday losing 1-0 at home to Nottingham Forest. However according to Mick, it could just be a blip:
A bit like us [at Reading], a rare blip. It happens,” he said. “They’ve been very solid and of course they’ve got Clayton Donaldson, who scored 18 goals last season and was much sought after in the summer, there were a lot of teams looking to take him.
“Demarai Gray and David Cotterill have got a real threat up front, they’re a really solid unit, they don’t give too many chances away.”
McCarthy says his Birmingham opposite number Gary Rowett has done very well since taking over at St Andrew’s last October:
“He was one of my candidates for Manager of the Year in our league,” the Town boss said. “He was never going to get it because the guy who wins the league deserves it.”
But I always look at somebody who is an unsung one, who came in and did an unbelievable job, which he did for a team which looked like getting relegated and they reached safety very early on.
“And they’ve started the season with that momentum. I met him last season and had a good chat with him and I can understand why his teams are like they are. I thought he was a good guy.”
Blues face Aston Villa in a Capital One Cup third round tie at Villa Park on Tuesday and manager Gary Rowett has tried to keep his players’ focus on tonight’s game:
“We haven’t mentioned the Villa game but of course they’ll be talking about it,” he told Sky Sports. “There’s a lot of anticipation about. We have to put it to the back of our minds.
“I don’t think they’ll be many players thinking ‘If I play well here I’ll play against Villa’. We want to win at Ipswich, we want to look a good team again.
“The Villa game will take care of itself, it’s a self-motivating game, I almost don’t have to do a team talk.”
Rowett says that as a young manager his Town counterpart McCarthy is someone he looks up to:
“He is the type of manager who, when people meet him, you respect him straight away because he’s such a great guy.
“He’s full of character and always helps younger managers. He’s one I look up to and respect what he’s achieved in the Championship.”
Blues have no injury problems but Andy Shinnie could replace on-loan Arsenal youngster Jon Toral in midfield. Other changes could be made to prepare for Tuesday night’s game.
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