IPSWICH TOWN boss Mick McCarthy has declared his admiration for Leeds United’s past and present but admits he is intent on “slapping” the Whites at Elland Road today.
Barnsley-born McCarthy’s fondness for United has been well documented and the 58-year-old admitted in an interview with Ipswich Town’s official media team that he used to support the Whites as a youngster.
The Ipswich boss has also been highly impressed by the work undertaken by new United head coach Thomas Christiansen.
But McCarthy remains intent on masterminding United’s downfall today in which both sides will look to maintain their respective strong starts to the campaign.
United lead the division on goal difference with Ipswich sitting fifth, just two points behind and with a game in hand.
McCarthy said of Christiansen’s Leeds: “They have started exceptionally well.
As everybody knows, I was a long-term supporter as a kid, growing up through the Norman Hunter and Johnny Giles era and Alan Clarke and that era. It was wonderful, I used to love that team.Ipswich boss, Mick McCarthy
“I know Thomas Christiansen played for Barcelona and he’s got a good pedigree but it’s not always easy to transfer that to the training ground. It seems to me that he has.
“They have bought a hell of a lot of new players – they have got a new owner as well and new investment – but they lost Chris Wood, who was the top scorer last year in our league.
“I see (Stuart) Dallas isn’t playing and (Kemar) Roofe hasn’t been playing but those kind of players are nice subs to go to!
“They have looked a really solid team and a well-organised team and then – typical of this league of course – they go to Millwall and get beat.”
Asked about his own personal former association with the Whites, McCarthy admitted: “As everybody knows, I was a long-term supporter as a kid, growing up through the Norman Hunter and Johnny Giles era and Alan Clarke and that era.
“It was wonderful, I used to love that team. I am no longer a supporter of them of course, but I have to be honest, if I wasn’t in football then I would be, I’d still want Leeds to do well.
“I just think it’s a great club and it’s in Yorkshire where I come from and I want them to do well.
“But I want to slap them on Saturday, make no mistake about that.”