‘Effort, commitment and performance’...Mick McCarthy outlines what he wants ahead of Crystal Palace trip
Crystal Palace v Ipswich: He has managed at the World Cup and experienced Championship titles and Premier League relegation heartache.
But Mick McCarty has revealed the butterflies remained as he returned to management with Ipswich in their surprise 1-0 win at Birmingham City on Saturday.
Speaking yesterday, McCarthy said: “I had the butterflies chomping around in the morning.
“It was still around until the game started – which is what you expect. If that wasn’t there, I would be worried.
“I don’t ever want to turn up and not be bothered about it. I want to be keyed-up and tense and feel like I am playing again or involved in games that matter.”
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Now the message is same again as Town look to continue their dream start under the new manager with a daunting trip to Crystal Palace tonight.
The Eagles haven’t lost in 11 league games and currently sit third with a brand of fluid and exciting football that has swept through the Championship.
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Enter Ian Holloway who quit Blackpool for Palace on Saturday morning and whose mere presence in the dugout for the first time will make Town’s job even more difficult.
But the Blues’ gritty 1-0 win at Birmingham, their first three points in 13 games, means they will travel with confidence.
McCarthy has made an instant impact although he was right to conclude that the victory at St Andrew’s had some fortune to it, mixed with professionalism and determination – the “horrible things” it takes to win football matches, according to the new man.
Asked what he did differently to predecessor Paul Jewell, McCarthy replied: “I’ve no idea and I am not interested in what I did differently – because that becomes a criticism of Paul (Jewell).
“I’m not going to do that at all. I just looked at Birmingham – myself and Terry and the coaching staff – and I decided the way I wanted to play in the first game and thankfully it worked on that occasion.
“It might not work tonight, we might have to do something different, but it is pleasing when it comes off.”
With Birmingham out-of-sorts though, he is predicting a much sterner test at Selhurst Park.
McCarthy said: “I hope we get the same level of effort, commitment and performance.
“I hope we play perhaps better football – we didn’t pass it as well as we could have done. And we need to get something out of it, some kind of positive result, a draw or a win.”
Palace are a club on the up, their appointment of Holloway on a four-and-a-half-year deal in keeping with the board’s bid to play entertaining football to entice fans back to Selhurst Park.
As for Town, the feel-good factor that started on Thursday morning with McCarthy’s appointment, and certainly continued through the weekend, has led supporters viewing the future with positivity.
Asked about his first few days, he replied: “We weren’t brilliant and didn’t play wonderfully free-flowing football. But we won and we played well. Have I enjoyed being back? It’s been lovely.”