Ipswich Town boss doesn’t worry about receiving a ‘few saucy comments’ from fans

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he doesn’t worry about receiving a “few saucy comments” from fans when he considers how legendary manager Sir Bobby Robson was, at times, vilified, during his time in the dugout.

McCarthy has received his fair share of criticism from disgruntled Blues fans during a disappointing season, which has seen Town suffer an embarrassing FA Cup defeat at the hands of non-league Lincoln.

Today, Town host Newcastle United at Portman Road, two of Sir Bobby’s former clubs going head-to-head on a day when the ex-England manager’s life will be celebrated by both sets of supporters.

McCarthy remembers Sir Bobby warmly, but also recalls some of the abuse he received, especially during his time as England manager, despite leading the Three Lions to a World Cup quarter-final in 1986 and the semi-final, in Italy, four years later.

“He was such a great character,” said McCarthy.

“I think about Bobby and you’re asking me about me (McCarthy receiving criticism) now – he got vilified at times.

“If Bobby Robson can get vilified and abused and Arsene Wenger can, then why should I worry about getting a few saucy comments?

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“It’s just incredible and now there is not a bad word to ever be said about him (Sir Bobby). Maybe we should all say the good things about them when they’re alive and not wait until they are sadly gone.”

McCarthy came up against Sir Bobby’s teams as a player and a manager and, latterly, got to know him well when playing in the former Barcelona and PSV Eindhoven boss’ charity golf events.

“He was such a great football man, I managed against him, and played against his teams at Euro 88 and the 1990 World Cup and I knew him then but I got to know him really well when I was playing in his charity golf day in Portugal,” McCarthy recalled.

“He was so selfless at that, even when he was struggling with his cancer.

“He was there in the morning and the evening, still went to the dinners, did all the stuff and was a great character.

“I just saw what a kind, humble human being he was there, and a real force of nature, carrying on raising money for a charity when he was struggling himself.”