Mick McCarthy shows his generous side – but don’t think that he’s gone soft

AS Christmas fast approaches, Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy has shown his generous side this week – but don’t think for one minute that he’s gone soft.

The Blues boss cancelled his players’ day-off following a 6-0 humiliation at Leicester last month, however, this week he decided to give them two days’ rest after last weekend’s 3-0 home win over Millwall had made it three victories on the bounce.

During those days off, the Yorkshireman joined some of his players on a ‘humbling and uplifting’ community visit to the East Anglian Childrens’ Hospice – even taking part in some face-painting.

Those that know him say such acts of kindness are typical of the man. Like a switch though, the steely-eyed determination, blunt honesty and dash of dry humour returns as soon as tomorrow’s trip to Leeds United is brought up.

“Yes, the players got two days off this week, but only because they’re going to have to run around more than they did last Saturday this weekend,” said McCarthy, with a wry smile.

“That’s not taking the foot off the gas, it’s just a well-earned rest because they’ve worked ever so hard. I’ve looked at our ProZone stats and, to be fair, we’ve out-worked other teams. If you’re going to do that constantly for the rest of the season then you have to give them chance to put their feet up at some stage.

“Looking back on the stats they’ve always done a lot of running. One or two of them just have screwed their heads on while they’re running around now – that makes a difference.”

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Set to renew his managerial rivalry with former Barnsley team-mate Neil Warnock at Elland Road, McCarthy will be without the services of striker Tyrone Barnett. The Peterborough loanee is set to be out for three months with a knee injury sustained in a reserve team game on Monday and has returned to parent club Peterborough.

Meanwhile, the Blues boss has signed 19-year-old defender Tyrone Mings from Wiltshire non-league side Chippenham Town after he impressed on trial.

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