Cup, contract and transfer thoughts on hold for Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy
MICK McCarthy remains very much focused on the short-term following his good start to life as Ipswich Town boss.
Having inherited a side that were rock-bottom of the Championship, a return of 13 points from his first seven games in charge has propelled the Blues five points clear of the relegation zone.
With eight loanees and several players coming towards the end of their contracts, there is much work to be done.
However, all that – as well as an FA Cup tie at Aston Villa – remains in the back of McCarthy’s mind for now.
Asked for his reaction to his side being drawn against Premier League opposition, the Blues boss said: “Do you want to know my honest assessment of that? I’m not bothered!
“We’ve got Millwall at home – let’s concentrate on that first. The FA Cup has not even scratched the surface of my thinking yet.
“I saw the draw and thought ‘that’s alright’, but then after that I haven’t even thought about it.
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“We’ve got really important league fixtures before that. Then when it comes around I’ll look forward to it and enjoy it.”
Keeper Stephen Henderson, defenders Danny Higginbotham and Bradley Orr, midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker and strikers DJ Campbell,Tyrone Barnett and Bilel Mohsni, are all set to depart Portman Road in January as it stands.
“I started planning and trying to get hold of people the minute I walked in the door,” said McCarthy.
“There’s only so much I can do though. They’re all on short-term deals with recalls for a reason. If their clubs need them then they’ll call them back. If they don’t then we can discuss trying to keep them here.
“Let’s wait and see what January brings.”
Beyond January, McCarthy will then have to worry about a host of players coming to the end of their contracts at the end of this season.
Guirane N’Daw and Daryl Murphy are on season-long loans, while the likes of Lee Martin, Carlos Edwards and Andy Drury are in the final year of their deals at the club.
“I have a bit of a problem with going around and offering people contracts,” said McCarthy.
“It can have a good effect, it can have a negative effect. Sometimes you can give a three-year deal and then they don’t kick a ball again. That’s no good to me.
“Listen, I’m cool with the situation at the minute. Let everybody fight for their positions, let everybody fight for their contracts.
“Next season doesn’t really concern me at the minute – my job is still to keep this club in this league.
“We’ve had a good start, but, I tell you, if you take your foot off the gas for one minute then you can lose two or three games and be back in the bottom three.
“That’s what I don’t want to happen. My focus will be on the immediate games, with the long-term stuff quietly going on the background.”