In-house criticism is creating a healthy siege mentality

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy - Credit: Archant

MICK McCarthy has developed a healthy siege mentality at Ipswich Town.

The Blues boss may privately be wondering whether some of his players will be good enough to take the club forwards next season.

But for now – with Championship safety still far from guaranteed – he is fostering a strong team spirit through the constant public backing of his men.

The differing reactions to the major incidents in the last two matches are a case-in-point.

Last weekend, McCarthy slammed Leicester City skipper Wes Morgan for being riled following clashes with Michael Chopra and Daryl Murphy.

Just two days later, and Town winger Lee Martin was sent-off at Nottingham Forest after reacting to a challenge from Henri Lansbury.

McCarthy admitted it was a red card, but refused to publicly condemn his player – despite him now being banned for the next three games, starting with tomorrow’s crucial clash at Peterborough.

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“I’ll speak to him privately,” was all the Blues boss would say, quickly pointing out the fact that he understood his player’s frustration.

Rewind 18 months to contrast the way Paul Jewell dealt with Martin following his red card in the 7-1 defeat at Posh.

The then Blues boss hung his player out to dry, telling the press that he had been made to train with the youth team as punishment.

There was also the revelation that Josh Carson wasn’t in the best shape he could be, the humiliating early substitution of Colin Healy and differing punishments handed out to Jimmy Bullard and Michael Chopra for the same misdemeanour.

By contrast, McCarthy does criticism in-house. And by doing that, he makes his players want to play for him.

Martin himself summed it up last week when he said ‘the manager’s opinion is the only one I care about.’

The message is clear. Fans, media and opponents can say what they like, but we’ve got each others’ backs.