Mick McCarthy believes he would have kept Wolves up – but he bears no grudges against his former club
Wolves v Ipswich: MICK McCarthy believes he would have kept Wolves in the Premier League last season – but he bears no grudges against his former club.
The Blues boss spent the best part of six largely successful years at Molineux, guiding the club to the Championship title at the third attempt and then twice avoiding relegation in the Premier League.
He was controversially sacked in February though after a 5-1 home defeat to Midlands rivals West Brom left the club third-from-bottom, locked on the same number of points as two other sides and with 13 games still to play.
Assistant Terry Connor – now by his side at Ipswich – took caretaker charge and Wolves ended up finishing 12 points adrift of safety at the foot-of-the-table.
Having claimed 20 points from a possible 33 to lift the Blues off the bottom of the Championship table, Town are just four points behind a Wolves side who have struggled to find a period of sustained form under Stale Solbakken this season.
Speaking ahead of his return to his former employers today, McCarthy said: “I did a good job at Molineux. Would I have kept them up last season? It’s easy for me to say yes isn’t it? The reality is, I don’t know.
“What I do know id I’d done it for two seasons prior to that and we’d been in worse positions. So yes, I do think I’d have kept them up. It wasn’t to be though and I’m here now, loving what I’m doing and I have no desire to do anything else.”
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He continued: “I had a blinding time there – it’s a great club, with great people.
“I think I’m entitled to a warm reception for what I did at Wolves, but that doesn’t always happen does it? If I get one fine, if I don’t then I’m genuinely not bothered. I have a real warm feeling towards the club, but when football managers leave it really is a case of ‘the king is dead, long live the king’. They don’t give you too much grace or favour in football.
“I have no axe to grind and think I can go back there with my head held high, without any doubt.
“There’s no bitterness on my behalf. Listen, people make their decisions, as I do when picking a team. I have to make my decisions, they have to make theirs.
“Whether they’ve got any regrets about making the decision now I don’t know? There are no regrets from me though, not at all.”
Asked if he wanted to win this game more than any other, the Blues boss said: “Unless they give me anything more than three points for it, no. I just want my team to go there, put on a good show and win.
“It’s no different to going anywhere else. We’ll try and win the game, get on the front foot and be in their faces on their own patch. We’ll be on the attack and trying to win the game.
“But of course, a little bit of you does think ‘show everybody what they’re missing’.
“I’m not really an emotional person over things like this, fixtures come and go, but I am looking forward to this one.”
– See today’s EADT for full match preview. Follow @Stuart_Watson and @davegoods on Twitter for live match updates.