Thursday, November 29, 2012
Hard graft was never the issue.
That’s the assessment of Mick McCarthy following his impressive start to life in the Blues hot-seat.
Having inherited a team that was rock-bottom of the Championship and without a home league win in 10 matches, McCarthy has lifted the club out of the relegation zone by claiming 10 points from a possible 18.
Tuesday night’s impressive 3-1 win over Nottingham Forest made it three games unbeaten at Portman Road.
“I don’t think there was a bad atmosphere here,” said the Blues boss, when asked what has changed since he replaced Paul Jewell at the start of the month.
“We have got a good set of lads who all get on well and work hard. There are no shirkers here, looking at all the stats and Prozone on how far they run and how hard they work.
“The problem with that is it is probably them chasing the ball rather than having the ball and making the opposition run around.
“Confidence comes from being organised, not getting beaten and believing in what you are doing.
“When that starts to produce results confidence comes and morale gets better, team spirit improves and the whole town feels better also.”
The Blues boss continued: “Generally you get a job because a team has been struggling so you have got to turn results around and probably turn people’s mindsets and attitudes around.
“You need to get some confidence and the only way that can be achieved is through winning games.
“It’s like anywhere else, you just have to win football matches. There is no other agenda for a manager than winning football matches.
“Behind that it might be building a good squad and developing the academy, but fundamentally it is about winning games.”
Sacked by Wolves back in February, McCarthy was linked with a number of clubs over the summer. But the former Republic of Ireland and Sunderland boss says much of it was pure speculation.
He said: “There is an assumption that I had loads of other opportunities in the summer, which I didn’t. My name was linked with lots of jobs and I certainly didn’t go round speaking to them all. Any of the ones I did speak to, however, I would always keep to myself.
“When I spoke to Ipswich they were rock bottom but everyone always speaks about this club in glowing terms and I have found that all to be true in the three weeks that I have been here.
“Of course the team is struggling – if it wasn’t they wouldn’t have had a change of manager. So I looked at all of that and thought ‘can I turn it around and keep the club up?’ and I thought, yes I can.
“I think it is a good opportunity to build something once we have achieved our first objective which is to stay in the Championship.”
– Mick McCarthy was speaking to Yahoo. For more from the Blues boss, other leading managers, plus exclusive Premier League highlights, go to www.yahoo.co.uk/sport.