Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says Burton Albion are not lacking Championship quality and are ‘no mugs’ as his side prepare for Saturday’s Pirelli Stadium clash (3pm).
With Burton struggling for form and without a win in five games, McCarthy still knows Ipswich will face threats from Nigel Clough’s men.
Indeed, while Albion have scored only six times in 13 league games to date, the Tractor Boys manager pinpoints the Brewers’ attacking options as an area his side must be wary of if they are to end their own poor run of three straight defeats.
"They're not finishing the chances," he said.
“But that team is full of Championship players.
“I looked at the front three in one of the games, it was [Lucas] Akins, [Sean] Scannell, [Lloyd] Dyer. They’re also got [Joe] Mason and Luke Varney, who used to play for us, so they’re not without quality.
“But they’re not finishing it, whatever chances they’re getting.
“They’re not mugs by any stretch of the imagination. I know some might think some of them are journeymen and moved on, but they are Championship players of Championship quality and we’ll have to play really well to beat them on Saturday.”
Having done the double over the Brewers last season, McCarthy sees Ipswich’s 2-1 victory at the Pirelli in April as one of the games that sealed the team’s Championship status while they were going through a rough period of results.
However, the 58-year-old has all eyes now on Saturday’s game and is expecting a hard 90 minutes.
“It will be a tough game,” he added.
“They’ve had a difficult run. It’s not an easy place to go and play and we’ll have to be really totally committed again to playing and playing as well as we did on Sunday.”
But equally, Ipswich are not in the best form coming into this game and are without a win in three since their 5-2 victory over Sunderland.
So will the Brewers be looking at this opportunity with the same intent as the visitors, in McCarthy’s view?
“I don’t think they will [sit back],” he continued.
“I think they’ll be looking at our results and there’ll be someone talking to Nigel Clough up there saying, ‘have you seen their results, do you think you can beat these here, they’re having a tough time?’
“That’s just what will be happening so I imagine they’ll want to be on the front foot and attacking us and make it a really difficult afternoon for us.”