Mick McCarthy warns players he’ll replace them if they don’t perform

LEE Martin’s silly bookings, Michael Chopra’s off-field problems, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas’ inconsistency and the recurring glaring individual errors – new Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy admits he is beginning to see why predecessor Paul Jewell was pulling his hair out at times, but insists he will be not be putting up with such worries.

After McCarthy’s players put in a spirited display at Birmingham to seal him a 1-0 winning start last weekend, the Blues capitulated in worryingly familiar fashion at high-flying Crystal Palace on Tuesday as three second-half penalties were conceded in a 5-0 defeat.

The rock-bottom Blues – without a league win at Portman Road in more than seven months – host in-form Burnley today. And if they are not careful the five point gap between them and Championship safety could soon increase.

“All I know is that Paul (Jewell) is a good guy and a good manager,” said McCarthy. “He was pulling his hair out at certain things at this club and I don’t want to be pulling my hair out because I haven’t got that much.

“I’ve come in here and I’ll get them all grafting and working. I’ll try and get the best out of them. If they don’t give me their best then, at the first chance I get, I’ll replace them with somebody else.”

Martin is suspended for today’s game after picking up his fifth of the season at Selhurst Park. The attacking midfielder was once made to train with the youth team by Jewell following a red card at Peterborough – and McCarthy has echoed similar words of frustration about the player.

“It’s disappointing because he’s played well in my first two games,” said the Blues boss. “It’s dopey getting banned for five bookings. I didn’t realise I had such a tough tackler. I expect him to tackle, but not to get five bookings for God’s sake.”

Most Read

On Michael Chopra – whose time at Ipswich has been marred by a series of off-field problems – McCarthy, who is yet to have played last season’s top scorer, said: “I come in here and hear all the stories about him, whatever it might be. I remember him and I know him as Michael Chopra who was always a threat, always a goalscorer.

“I’ve just had words with him now because he came to see me. I just said ‘get in my team’ and I have to say he did really well for the Under-21s on Wednesday.”

Asked about Emmanuel-Thomas’ inconsistency, he said: “It’s amazing, it’s always the same at football clubs. The best players are never playing. Then they come knocking on your door, you put them in the team and then you remember they weren’t the best players. My message to all of them is prove to me why they should be in the team and then stay there.”

He added; “I hope I can get the best out of all of them – I generally do get the best out of people. I think you’ll finds that most players who’ve played for me would play for me again. There will be one or two that wouldn’t, but I wouldn’t want them anyway.”

– See today’s EADT for full match preview.