MICK’S THE MAN: Grey hair, but no grey areas with Mick McCarthy

LONG-BALL football, a dour personality, a short-term stop-gap rather than long-term answer?

Ipswich Town fans may have some fears over Mick McCarthy becoming the new boss, but Tim Nash – the journalist who worked alongside him for nearly five years at the Wolverhampton Express and Star – insists the Blues are in safe hands.

With many feeling that a disciplinarian is needed at Portman Road following revelations from Carlos Edwards and Richie Wellens in recent weeks, Nash said: “One thing you find very quickly with Mick is that you know where you stand with him.

“He draws up very clear guidelines and boundaries for all those he works with, whether that be the media, his players or staff.

“He’s very blunt, very honest – brutally honest at times to be honest.

“He may have grey hair, but there are no grey areas with Mick. It’s very much black and white.

“He’s a real players’ man. His biggest strength is getting a team to work together. I’ve had 30 years of watching Wolves as a supporter and reporter and I’ve never seen a group work harder than under Mick. Any slackers won’t last very long, that’s for sure.”

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He continued: “His critics saddle him with a long-ball reputation, but that’s really harsh. The football was fantastic for long periods during his time here.

“A traditional 4-4-2 man who would sometimes play 4-5-1 away from home, the emphasis was always on attack-minded wingers like Matt Jarvis and Michael Kightly supplying crosses for strikers like Steven Fletcher, Kevin Doyle and Sylvain Ebanks-Blake.

“He’s not just a manager of the first team though. He sees himself as an ambassador for the club and will really embrace the community. “Expect him to live in the town and do a lot of unseen community work locally.”

He added: “I understand why people label him as this dour Yorkshireman but trust me, when he walks into a room everybody stops. He has this forceful presence.

“He’ll do everything he can to try and protect the people he works with, whether that be the owners or his players.”