If it’s good enough for Jose Mourinho, it’s good enough for Mick McCarthy. Ipswich Town boss makes no apology for his ‘stubborn and belligerent’ style of football.

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy - Credit: Archant

If it’s good enough for Jose Mourinho, it’s good enough for Ipswich Town.

Mick McCarthy insists he will continue to set his team up to play ‘stubborn, organised and belligerent’ football ahead of today’s visit of Birmingham City.

The Blues boss hopes that new loan signing, exciting young midfielder Jonny Williams, will get bums on seats at Portman Road over the coming weeks.

However, in a message to supporters seriously considering whether to renew their season tickets, he refused to apologise for putting ‘hard-to-beat’ at the top of his priorities.

When it was put to McCarthy that the recent goalless draw against Blackpool will have done little to boost dwindling attendances, he replied: “No, it probably won’t have. Well, we’ll see how many season tickets we sell if we play sexy football in the first division (League One)”


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With his team five points adrift of the play-off places with 14 games to go, McCarthy continued: “Those hard-to-beat, professional, organised, stubborn and belligerent qualities have to come first in my team’s make-up and then you play your sexy football if you can. Sometimes you just haven’t got the players to set-up and play sexy football.

“Swansea have been described as the sexiest team in Christendom in recent years, but right now (four points above the Premier League relegation zone) they would love a bit of stubbornness and belligerence. I think that has to come first, personally.

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“You play off a base and then hope that somebody like Jonny Williams or David McGoldrick can play the sexy football on top of that. If you don’t have that base then you’ll get beat I’m afraid. If you’re not organised and don’t defend properly at corner kicks then you get beat.

“You don’t hear many complaints about (Chelsea boss) Mourinho doing it when he’s winning championships all over the world with that approach.

“We’ve had 12 draws this season. If we’d managed to make the most of the times when we were playing great football, where would we be? We just didn’t quite manage it.”

On new signing Williams – a direct-running midfielder with an eye for a pass – McCarthy said: “I’m hoping he’ll help us win more games. He does have that bit of style and flair and of course that excites people. It puts bums on seats and it then gets them off seats.”

And when later jokingly asked whether he would consider signing a member of boyband One Direction, in reference to that fact that Louis Tomlinson played for Doncaster Rover’s Under-21 team this week, he quipped: “No, I get accused of being one dimensional so I don’t want to be one direction as well!”

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