I’ll be the master of my own destiny – Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says he’ll consider his future this summer

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy pictured after his side were dumped out of the FA Cup by non-league

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy pictured after his side were dumped out of the FA Cup by non-league Lincoln City. Photo: PAGEPIX LTD

More and more Ipswich Town supporters have been calling for Mick McCarthy to be sacked following Tuesday night’s humiliating FA Cup defeat at non-league side Lincoln City. STUART WATSON quizzed the Blues boss in today’s press conference ahead of Saturday’s game at Huddersfield.

Q: Mick, you’ve just said in your radio interview that your transfer bids keep getting knocked back. Do you advise Marcus Evans as to how much you think a transfer target’s top valuation is?

A: Sometimes that will be the case, yeah.

Yeah, if somebody asks for a bonkers cost I’d say ‘it’s not worth it’. That’s not happened too often though, I have to be honest.

In this inflated market I would hate to spend a whole lot of money on somebody and find out he’s not much better than what we’ve got and end up having to keep him for the next three years on inflated wages. That wouldn’t be right.

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But no, I leave it to Marcus, pretty much, in terms of the valuations of the players.

Q: That’s quite selfless in a way. Other managers in your current position, fighting to get out of a tough run and win back the fans, might put more pressure on the owner to deliver new recruits at any cost.

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A: I’ve always found if you go pleading with people it doesn’t make much difference. If the answer is no, if it can’t be done, asking in a different way and sort of begging... I’m not into that, believe me.

If we can’t do it, we can’t do it and you know that. It’s been that way for the last four years. Nothing has changed on that score.

Q: So does Marcus come back to you and say ‘this club now wants X for this player, what do you think?’

A: I am very much part of the process.

Q: Not for the first time recently, you faced chants of ‘you’re getting sacked in the morning’ on Tuesday night. How does that feel?

A: Oh come on, I prefer it when I’m getting nice chants but that’s part of the gig. That’s football now.

We’ve had four years of an upwards curve, but are now having a tough time. I kind of get it.

I’ve said that if they want me sacked there is not a great deal I can do about that. I’m going to continue working and focussing on trying to win games.

If it ends up that the club wants to sack me, then sack me. But I don’t get that feeling, I have to be honest.

The position that we’re in, we’re not great, but we’re 10 points above Blackburn. How many are we off the play-offs? I have no idea.

We’re kind of mid—table and, do you know what, that’s probably where we should be with the budget we have compared to the ones above us.

But it’s not great football, it’s not great results. I get it.

Did I lose any sleep over it (the chants)? I probably did on Tuesday, yeah.

I’m more concerned about how I feel, not what other people feel about me. I’m more concerned about the way I feel about the way we’re playing and the results that we get, not people who want to say nasty things about me.

Of course, somebody else gets asked for their opinion and they try and say something even nastier about me and it becomes even more humiliating and even more humbling. I’m not bothered. Really, I’m more concerned about how I feel myself.

Q: Have you spoken to Marcus Evans since Tuesday night?

A: Yes, I have.

Q: And how was he with you?

A: Exactly the same. He said he’d just about got over it and I said ‘I’m glad you have, because I haven’t’.

He’s always very supportive, he’s always great. He doesn’t come on and try to make me feel worse that’s for sure.

Q: Marcus has been very supportive of you publicly and made it clear he is sticking by you. Does he say same the same thing privately?

A: He knows I don’t need to hear that. What I wouldn’t want to hear, and I’m sure other managers get this from chairman, is ‘why have you done this, why have done that, why have you done the other?’ They’ve got no idea about football and are telling you how to do it.

The support that I’ve always had from Marcus is that I don’t get that. No, he’s fine, he’s cool.

Q: You’ve said yesterday was ‘horrible’. Did you try and avoid the fall-out and reaction?

A: I was up at two o’clock, didn’t sleep, then was out of bed at the usual time of quarter to six. I took my daughter to the train station, which was lovely, then I had my granddaughter.

I bought two newspapers purposely to get it over with. I read what they had to say. It was cathartic that, just to get it out of my system.

Do I listen to anybody else? Do I ‘eck. I don’t want anybody elses’ opinion on it. I feel bad enough about it myself.

Me and Dave (Bowman, director of football) had a chat, me and TC (Terry Connor, assistant manager) had a chat. I don’t seek anybody elses’ council though.

Q: Do you become desensitised to criticism the longer you’ve been in football?

A: I remember being considerably younger at Millwall and how much it did affect me then. You tend to take it far more personally when you’re younger.

I’ve got a bit more perspective on life now. People who say things to be hurtful, I can still manage to speak to them now, whereas when I was younger I might have confronted them... I still might when the occasion comes.

It’s just a lot easier. Age has to bring something, surely? Whatever that is. I think ‘thank God for that’ sometimes, because I wouldn’t want to be as angry as I was when I was 37 because I was an angry man then. Occasionally it still rears its head.

Q: You’re a grandfather now. You’ve said yourself that you’ve softened...

Let me just tell you, I don’t know where you are going with this, but it doesn’t mean I want to win any less. It doesn’t mean losing hurts me any less. It doesn’t mean that I can feel any better about being humbled and embarrassed by a National League side because I can’t.

I can just get my head around it a bit better. When I do pick my granddaughter up, it’s not eating away at me. I can still get enjoyment out of that. Then when I put her down and she’s gone upstairs with my wife, I’ll be sat in the chair snarling about football again. At least I can enjoy other things and it’s not as intense in my head as it always was.

Q: What constitutes a successful season now?

A: *Laughs*

Q: Seriously. Is it a case of just finishing as high as you can, or about developing younger players and building for the future?

A: There’s a few of the younger lads coming into the team at the moment. I hope they end up being regulars in the team, that would be nice.

I would like to finish the season as well as we possibly can, with as many points, obviously.

Kundai (Benyu) is doing alright at Aldershot. It would be nice to have him back and get some games in him. Get Bish (Teddy Bishop) back in the team, get Myles Kenlock back in the team and develop some younger players so that next season perhaps we can start afresh with some of the younger ones.

I want to get to that point in really good condition. I’ll have a year on my contract left and I’ll make a decision on what I want to do.

Q: So you are looking to the future?

A: Of course. That’s always been the case, but the younger players have not really been ready to play.

Dozza (Andre Dozzell) is in now and playing, we’ve got Josh (Emmanuel), Myles (Kenlock), Bish (Teddy Bishop) and Kundai (Benyu).

I think if we could get those young lads in the team I think that would constitute a success, if they all stay in the team.

Like I said, then I’ll decide what I want to do.

Q: ‘What I want to do’ – Can you elaborate further on that?

A: What I said, I’ll decide what I want to do. I’ve got everybody telling me I should be sacked or going. I’ll be the master of my own destiny.

Unless Marcus sacks me, which I wouldn’t be able to do anything about, I’ll be the master of my own destiny.

Q: So you might consider walking away if you didn’t feel things were right?

A: I haven’t said that. I’ll find out when the season finishes won’t I? If those (young) players are in the team, if we finish well and look in good shape I may well want to stay on and continue doing it. If not, we’ll see.

Q: To be very clear, at the end of the season...

A: *Interjects* Look, Stu, I can’t elaborate any more than what I’ve just said can I? I think I’ve made it clear.

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