Mick McCarthy says Ipswich Town fans’ negativity is ‘a massive part of us getting beat’

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy. Photo: PA

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy. Photo: PA - Credit: PA

Ipswich Town host fellow Championship strugglers Wigan Athletic tomorrow night. Mick McCarthy today used his press conference to speak at length about the ‘detrimental’ role supporters’ negativity is having on his relegation-battling team.

Q: Is Jonathan Douglas ready to play a second game in four days?

A: (Laughs) “Do you think he should play again? I thought he was very good on Saturday. I watched it again this morning and he was probably our best player. He kept going, stuck at it. It was a game I needed to play him in, I wanted to play him in and I thought he did well. As for getting two games out of him Saturday-Tuesday, having not played, we’ll see.

“I think he’s a lesson to all professionals actually because we’ve got some that would have come off after 60/70 minutes having not played that long but he got through it.”

Q: Did some of the negative chanting in the second half get players down?

A: “Not down, no, maybe just a bit p****d off with it. They are maybe p****d off with themselves more than anybody else because we know we can do better and should be doing better.

“The only way you get crowds to support you is by playing well and winning games. It’s purely and simply down to us. Clubs sell pies and points and shirts and everything else on the back of good performances from a good team getting good results - nothing else. I don’t care what (off-field) initiatives you try and use. You’ve got to be doing well on the pitch otherwise the crowd get p****d off and sing s****y songs at the owner and the manager and probably our best player on Saturday, strangely enough.

Most Read

“And I don’t care what anybody says about that. He was good on Saturday, Dougie, and it was a shambles that they were shouting at him.”

Q: So it is affecting the players?

A: “Oh yeah, it irks them, definitely. You try going out with your mates or your family and see one of them getting pilloried. I’d like to think it would upset you. If you’ve ever been in a team of any sorts then you don’t like that. That’s not good, no. I don’t like anybody being singled out, it’s horrible.

“Of course it affects our players. And if affects the opposition, positively. It does. I’ve played in those type of games where you think ‘happy days, this mob are getting pelters’. It’s amazing how you see the confidence rise in one team and the other side fall.”

Q: Have the players rallied around Jonathan?

A: (Sarcastically) “We all hugged and kissed him afterwards and he felt a lot better!”

Q: So he can handle it?

A: “It didn’t affect him on Saturday, he just took it in his stride. He kept wanting the ball and having it. He played well. He’s such low maintenance. He always gives his lot and is a great character. I don’t think he’s that sensitive.

“We weren’t in the best position on Saturday with players being unavailable and it was fortunate that we had Dougie to come in and be as solid as he was, especially when Skusey (Cole Skuse) went off.

“Anybody that is reading this - and write it exactly as I’ve said it - all them who were screaming at me about why Dougie should be on the pitch, well they you know what they can do…

Q: Do you mean ‘Foxtrot Oscar’? (a phrase he often uses to tell people to, shall we say, get lost).

A: (Wry smile) “That would be good if you want to put that’s what they should do. Thank you! I would never have used that personally.

Q: So a negative atmosphere could be detrimental to the team tomorrow night?

A: “It’s their team, it’s their club. Any negativity is detrimental to the team. If it’s detrimental to the team and we don’t play well, and don’t get the result we want, then they’ve been part of it.

“Sorry, but that’s the way it is. They are part of it.

“Isn’t it wonderful? When a team is winning, and I’m talking generically here, we’re all winning together. It’s fantastic, ‘aren’t we great’. We (points to himself) always say ‘we’ve got the best fans in the world’ and ‘aren’t they great’ and we all win together.

“If we are playing badly and losing then it’s – ‘we’ (points to himself again) are s**t.

“Maybe we were on Saturday. And by the way, I’m the first to come out and admit that. I never come and try and dress it up and say ‘we’ve played well today’. If anyone has ever said that about me then forget it, because it never happens. I get grief off people who say ‘you were a bit brutal with your team on Saturday, that was a bit harsh’.

“They (the fans) are part of it. When we are winning they are a massive part. And they are a massive part of us getting beat as well.

“I know it’s up to us, we’ve got to set the tone, definitely, I get that. That’s our responsibility; I would never pass that on. But there is a time when you need a dig out, a leg up and maybe that’s tomorrow night.”