Thursday 18 January 2018

Why Mick McCarthy can't wait to lock horns with Louis van Gaal again

Town boss McCarthy plans to attack United in 'special' tie

Mick McCarthy
Mick McCarthy
Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal (r) shakes Mick McCarthy’s hand after Ireland’s 1-0 World Cup qualifying win at Lansdowne Road back in 2001.

Ipswich manager Mick McCarthy hopes his side will draw inspiration from playing at Old Trafford in the League Cup tomorrow night and not be frightened at the thought of taking on Manchester United.

The Tractor Boys head to the north west aiming to pull of a shock result against Louis van Gaal's men, who climbed to second in the table with victory at Southampton on Sunday.

While McCarthy's main focus this season is aiming to secure promotion from the Sky Bet Championship, he believes whatever team he sends out should be able to do themselves justice.

McCarthy has previous when it comes to beating a Van Gaal-managed side as he oversaw Ireland's World Cup qualifying win over Van Gaal and his Dutch team at Lansdowne Road back in 2001.

However, back in the present day, McCarthy wants to ensure his team are not over-awed by their surroundings.

"I am looking forward to Old Trafford. I haven't had too many results there, probably none, and it is still a special place," said the former Ireland, Sunderland and Wolves boss, who played more than 100 times for United's rivals Manchester City.

Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal (r) shakes Mick McCarthy’s hand after Ireland’s 1-0 World Cup qualifying win at Lansdowne Road back in 2001.

McCarthy and van Gaal in 2001 after Ireland had beaten Holland 1-0

"It is one of the best clubs in the world with an amazing stadium to play at. Of course, it is almost impossible to try to blank that out. We will get taken on the coach right into the ground, you can see the size of it all, the players know the history of the club and all of their players, then when they go out onto the warm-up our lads will see the surroundings.

"It either frightens you or inspires you I guess, so let's hope it inspires our guys."

McCarthy was appointed at Ipswich in November 2012 and guided Town to the play-off semi-finals last season.

He added: "It will be a sharp reminder of what I would like to be doing which is to be managing in the Premier League and for the players, let's hope it is an incentive for them for the rest of the season."

Midfielder Ryan Fraser has recovered from a minor ankle problem, and Kevin Bru is also expected to be available.

Goalkeeper Dean Gerken (groin/shin) will be assessed.

Teddy Bishop, though, will not be risked as he continues rehabilitation from a hamstring problem.

McCarthy is expected to rotate his starting XI, with one eye on the upcoming league match against Bristol City.

"We have had lots of games so the last thing I need is everybody playing and then we can't get going on Saturday," he said.

"But no matter which team I play or the team United put out it is going to be a tough match for them.

"We are not just going up there to let them have the ball and keep coming at us, we are going to attack them."

Meanwhile, Juan Mata has dedicated United's victory at Southampton to injured team-mate Luke Shaw.

Van Gaal's side won 3-2 at St Mary's courtesy of a brace from Anthony Martial and a goal from Mata to finish a 45-pass move.

The game was played against the back-drop of a serious injury to Shaw - who moved to Old Trafford from Southampton last summer.

The 20-year-old suffered a double-leg break in the Champions League defeat to PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday night and it remains to be seen how long the England international will be sidelined for.

Mata, who posted an emotional message shortly after the 2-1 loss in Holland, also wanted to devote the win over Saints to Shaw.

"In short, it was an important and very special win," Mata wrote on his official blog.

"Everybody knows that last Tuesday was a bad day for us. Because of the defeat but, especially, because of Luke Shaw's terribly serious injury.

"He was very unlucky and suffered a double fracture of his right leg; all of us felt his pain. That's why we wanted to dedicate a victory to him as soon as possible, to make him feel happy, at least momentarily, and it came this very Sunday."

Van Gaal is set to make a number of changes to his starting line-up for tomorrow night's match, with Sergio Romero set to replace Mata's Spanish compatriot David De Gea in goal and James Wilson set to get a chance to impress up front. Paddy McNair could also come in at centre-back.

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