Mick McCarthy delighted with the end of the Ipswich Town ‘bitching and back-biting’
Bolton v Ipswich: It might have left most fans scratching their heads – both inside the Reebok Stadium and back home in Suffolk.
But Mick McCarthy has revealed that his decision to move right-back Bradley Orr into the heart of the midfield during Town’s 2-1 win at Bolton was actually born in Newcastle almost 10 years ago.
Orr, who has improved massively since his horror debut at Leicester, put in a competent shift in his natural position before moving to midfield alongside Guirane N’Daw in the 56th minute.
With Luke Hyam (calf) and Nigel Reo-Coker (hamstring) injured, and Andy Drury making his first start in five games, many fans could have been forgiven for thinking it was a case of needs must.
But McCarthy said: “The first time I saw him play was for Newcastle reserves in central midfield. I asked him in the week, because we were two men down, whether he would do it for me – and he said no problem.
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“Andy Drury was looking a bit knackered, he has not played a lot, and I thought it would give us a bit more bite. As it turned out, it worked. It is nice when that happens.”
Michael Chopra’s late winner eased Town slightly away from the bottom three while also giving the fantastic travelling support something to cheer about on a bitterly-cold day.
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It also allowed further proof of an improving team spirit under McCarthy – including the now famous Luke Chambers’ fist-pump celebration in front of jubilant Town fans.
Coming just five weeks after Richie Wellens’ infamous comments questioning attitudes in the dressing room, McCarthy appears to have overseen a complete sea-change within the inner sanctums of Portman Road.
He said: “There is a good spirit.
“I think there was a bit of bitching and back-biting and finger-pointing when I went in.
“It was everyone’s fault and not theirs individually.
“Because if you are conceding goals, it is always the defenders and the keeper’s fault – what about the strikers who should hold it up or the midfielders who should pass the ball to a man in a blue shirt?
“It is a collective, never just one thing. They have bought into that now – there is none of that finger-pointing.
“But that happens when a team starts getting beat – it is nothing to do with Paul (Jewell).
“You can be the best psychologist in the world, but it is not going to change until you change results. That’s what gets you team spirit.”
Goalscorer DJ Campbell also praised the subs – and his boss for making the changes.
He said: “The three subs that came on changed the game in my opinion.
“It worked, that is what the gaffer does and that’s what makes him special. He’s done that throughout his career.
“It was a massive win for us and we now need to try and keep it going. The club is on the up and the future is bright for Ipswich.”