Ipswich Town defender Christophe Berra responds to criticism of team from media and fans

Ipswich Town defender Christophe Berra

Ipswich Town defender Christophe Berra

Experienced defender Christophe Berra says his Ipswich Town team-mates and manager, Mick McCarthy, do not allow fans’ criticism to affect them too much.

A growing number of Blues supporters have become disgruntled this season, with no-one, from the owner, down to the players, immune from stick.

The manager, plus a large number of the squad that reached the play-offs in 2015 remain and have not repeated the levels of performance they became accustomed to.

However, many see this as a failing of owner Marcus Evans, who has seemingly only afforded McCarthy a modest budget in which to build on that success.

A current eight-match unbeaten run looks, on paper, to be a sign of improvement, but seven of those games have ended in draws, meaning Town are still not safe from the clutches of the Championship drop-zone with nine games to go.

Berra, who travels with 16th-placed Town to 13th-placed Cardiff on Saturday, said: “It doesn’t matter where you are, which club you are at, fans have all got opinions and can be very fickle as well.

“It doesn’t matter if you are in the play-offs, there will be fans that don’t like the manager and some who love him.

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“It’s the same here, the majority of fans like Mick McCarthy, but there will be some that don’t like him.

“There will be a lot that like me and a lot that don’t, that’s part and parcel of football, being in the limelight, that’s the nature of the beast really.”

Last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Barnsley saw the Blues put in another disappointing performance, and Berra says such displays will bring increased scrutiny, not only from the terraces, but also from the local and national media.

“The manager has been in this situation many times before, he is thick-skinned, just like the players are,” added former Hearts defender, Berra.

“It’s sport, that’s what your (media) job is to do, to write stories, and probably lots of negative stories to sell newspapers.

“That is the job, when you are in the spotlight, you have got to take the stick and take it on the chin.”