MICK’S THE MAN: George Burley backs Mick McCarthy after missing out on an interview

GEORGE Burley may not have had the chance to stake his claim for a return to the Ipswich Town managerial hot-seat, but he believes the Blues have made a great appointment in Mick McCarthy.

The 56-year-old – who led the Blues to promotion and a memorable fifth-place finish in the Premier League – quickly declared his interest in the job when Paul Jewell departed by mutual consent last Wednesday.

Blues owner Marcus Evans and chief executive interviewed a number of candidates, but Burley – who is set to move back to Suffolk soon following a short-lived spell of management in Cyprus – was not among them, with Mick McCarthy today getting the job.

“I’m Ipswich through-and-through so it was disappointing not be able to stake my claim,” said Burley, whose lengthy management career also includes spells at Scotland, Southampton and Hearts.

“There were a number of top class managers interested in the job though and, at the end of the day, the club has picked someone with great pedigree in Mick McCarthy. His record with the Republic of Ireland, Sunderland and Wolves speaks for itself.” He added: “Like any manager he’ll go into a new club and do things his own way. If he has to be tough and hard on his players then he will do that I am sure. He is the sort of manager who gets the best out of the squad he’s got.

“At the moment the club is in a relegation battle, but it will only take a few wins to push up the table. I remember many years ago, in 1979, we were second-from-bottom in the old First Division early on and ended up qualifying for Europe.”

On his own managerial career, Burley – sacked by Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day 2011 – said: “You never know what’s around the corner, but I’m sill hungry and feel as fit as a fiddle. I’m really looking forward to getting back into football.”