Aston Villa would be foolish not to consider Mick McCarthy as manager, says Mark Venus

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy

Aston Villa would be foolish not to consider Mick McCarthy as their next manager, says former Ipswich Town player Mark Venus.

Ex Town defender Mark Venus

Ex Town defender Mark Venus

McCarthy – who is contracted to the Blues until 2018 – is among the forerunners for the vacant Villa job after Remi Garde left the rock-bottom Premier League club on Tuesday night.

David Moyes and Nigel Pearson, both out of work, are the current bookies’ favourites at 2/1 and 4/1 respectively, with McCarthy third on the list after his odds tumbled from 50/1 to 5/1 in the space of 24 hours. Then comes Tony Pulis (West Brom) and Steve Bruce (Hull), two more managers who, like McCarthy, have built good reputations when it comes to turning around crisis clubs.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all that Mick McCarthy is being mentioned as a candidate,” said the experienced Venus, a man who has had coaching roles at the likes of West Brom, Celtic and Middlesbrough alongside his former Blues team-mate Tony Mowbray.

“A club in the position of Aston Villa, 11 points adrift and heading for the Championship, they would be foolish not to consider someone with Mick’s CV.

“Just look at what he has done with all the clubs he has been in charge of – Sunderland, Wolves and now Ipswich. He always stabilises clubs and then improves them. And it’s often done while selling players and working within a budget.

“Everyone knows what a fantastic job he has done at Ipswich, turning them around. I’m not saying he will be offered the job or will want it, but I’m just saying it’s no surprise his name is being mentioned because his reputation within the game is superb.”

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Following a two-week break due to international football, McCarthy takes Town to his former club Wolves on Saturday. The recent 1-0 home loss to Rotherham may have been a major blow, but victory at Molineux could put the Blues back on the coat-tails of the top-six.

“Ipswich fans have got to believe they can still make the play-offs – definitely,” said Venus, who is now working as a technical director at League One side Coventry. “I watch them a lot and, say what you like about them, but one thing you can guarantee is that they will give everything until the last kick of the last game. The manager will demand that and I think the players will give him that.

“Pressure can do funny things to teams at the top and if anyone slips up then Ipswich could take advantage.”

Venus, who spent almost a decade at Wolves as a player before helping Town win promotion to the Premier League at the fourth attempt in the play-offs, added: “When I was at Ipswich under George Burley we had to keep building and rebuilding and eventually we got to the Premier League after a little injection of funds to sign Marcus Stewart at a key time. I’m sure Mick can do the same if given the same time and a little bit of resources.”

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