“Do something special” - McParland

DON’T let the occasion pass you by” – that will be the rallying cry of Ipswich Town caretaker boss Ian ‘Charlie’ McParland, ahead of tonight’s Carling Cup semi-final first leg tie against Arsenal.

DON’T let the occasion pass you by” – that will be the rallying cry of Ipswich Town caretaker boss Ian ‘Charlie’ McParland, ahead of tonight’s Carling Cup semi-final first leg tie against Arsenal.

McParland will be drawing on his own personal experience as a player, having failed to do himself justice for Notts County in an FA Cup quarter-final against Everton.

The Scotsman froze that day in 1984, and he doesn’t want his temporary charges at Portman Road to make the same mistake in front of a capacity crowd tonight.

“The players have worked hard to get to this stage, so let’s enjoy the occasion,” insisted McParland.


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“I played in an FA Cup quarter-final against Everton and the occasion passed me by. I thought that I didn’t do enough in the game, we got beat and Andy Gray scored.

“It’s not very often you get chances to play in quarter-finals or semi-finals, or have a chance to win trophies.

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“Whatever happens, don’t let it pass you by, that’s what I’ll be telling the players – make sure you go out and put your mark on it, by doing something special,” added McParland.”

Installed as caretaker boss last Friday morning, following the sacking of Roy Keane, McParland had a baptism of fire with Town’s 7-0 thrashing at Chelsea in Sunday’s FA Cup third round tie.

Not surprisingly, the ex-Notts County boss wants his players to look forward, rather than to dwell on that drubbing,

“Did I sit them down to watch the Chelsea game? You must be joking!” said McParland, with a wry smile.

“They’ve had a tough time, the boys, I’m not a sadist! I couldn’t show them that DVD – it would have killed them off.

“People keep telling me about that (Chelsea) thrashing, but what thrashing? What was that?

“I’ve forgotten about it now. I had my sulk yesterday, that’s gone. You have to move on.

“Yes, my pride was hurt, and the players’ pride was hurt, but let’s put it in perspective.

“We were missing a lot of players and Chelsea had been waiting to give someone a tanking for a wee while. Unfortunately, it was us. But that’s gone.

“It’s up to the boys, in front of 30,000 fans, to go out there and sweat blood. They must enjoy themselves and enjoy the occasion.”

Meanwhile, McParland confirmed that he expected to be leaving the club, following Jewell’s official start to life as the new Town boss tomorrow morning.

“It’s not a problem that this will probably be my last game,” insisted McParland.

“He will be bringing in his own people, and I have no hard feelings against Paul Jewell.

“If I go back into a club as a manager, I’ll probably bring my own people in as well. It’s nothing personal.

“I haven’t even asked him, but the indications are that he’ll be bringing in his own men by the end of the week. I’ll enjoy the game, and hope the players do their hardest to get a good performance and a good result. Then I’ll move on.”

McParland did not speak to Jewell, the man he is handing the reins over to, until Monday afternoon.

He revealed: “Paul rang me last night for a brief chat. I don’t know if he chatted with any of the players. He told me that he would be taking over on Thursday. I said – thank you!” added McParland with a smile.

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