Marcus Evans persuaded me to put my Premier League dreams on hold admits Mick McCarthy
THE persuasive powers of Marcus Evans convinced Mick McCarthy to put his own Premier League ambitions on hold – for now – and take over the Championship’s then-bottom club.
Evans’ record in the managerial market is arguably the biggest concern among Town fans assessing the owner’s five years in charge.
In his half-decade at Portman Road, a milestone he officially reaches on Monday, Evans has fired Jim Magilton and then brought in Roy Keane and Paul Jewell, but it has made little difference to the Blues’ Premier League aspirations.
No one can doubt he has ploughed in millions at various stages for the three managers, but the investment has not been backed up by success on the pitch.
Now it’s McCarthy’s turn to try and achieve success under the reclusive owner and the initial signs are positive that the former Wolves boss could again be managing in the big time in the years to come.
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Of Evans, McCarthy said: “He’s made a very big impression on me actually. Listen, I had designs on taking a Premier League club – I didn’t have any designs on taking a club that were bottom of the Championship.
“When I spoke to Paul (Jewell) and other people I was suitably impressed enough to go and speak to him (Evans). He then convinced me that it was the right thing to go and do.
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“I knew about the club and its history, but he impressed me.”
Evans’ continued backing of Ipswich Town will be tested in January, and again in the summer, when McCarthy will look to flex his muscles in the transfer market.
But while the Blues boss has warned fans not to expect a glut of new faces in the New Year, this doesn’t appear to be a result of any penny-pinching from the owner.
When asked about what assurances he has had from Evans, McCarthy revealed: “That wasn’t discussed at the time (of me taking over).
“There’s no chance I would have come if I didn’t think we could be competitive though. It’s going to be tough with the Financial Fair Play – that will make it difficult for everybody.
“But if we can get this place filled with 20,000 people that will help us be more competitive. Marcus has backed his other managers and convinced me that this will continue to be the case.”