Ipswich Town: Mick McCarthy condemns 'disgraceful' pre-season performance
Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy is braced for the "inevitable" response from fans if his side fail to improve after a 6-1 loss in their last pre-season friendly.
The 58-year-old described the defeat by Charlton as an "unnatural disaster".
There were calls from some supporters last season for McCarthy to be sacked.
"We've got to play well on Saturday and we've pretty much got to win because if we don't, it's starting where we left off last season and that's not good for anybody," he told BBC Radio Suffolk.
Ipswich, who start the new campaign with a home game against Birmingham City on Saturday, finished 16th in the Championship in 2016-17.
Speaking about the Addicks thrashing, McCarthy said: "It was embarrassing. It was a complete shambles, a really disgraceful performance.
"I just said to them that if that was in November, the quote would be 'he's lost the dressing room and they don't want to play for him'. I know that's not the case, but that's what would be said."
McCarthy vowed that his side would perform better against Birmingham, but expects a poor reaction from supporters if they fail to do so.
"It doesn't bode well for anybody, how they feel about me, how they feel about the team, or how they feel about the club, getting slapped here, six," the former Wolves boss added.
"Come along and support us and cheer us and let's hope we can beat Birmingham, and if we don't, then I accept the inevitable."
Striker David McGoldrick is a doubt for Saturday after succumbing to an illness that has affected a number of players in pre-season.
"Whatever virus has been brought into the camp has had a fairly devastating effect. I don't know whether he'll be fit or not. If it's anything like Tom Adeyemi or Bersant Celina, it's going to be too soon for him," McCarthy added.