MICK’S THE MAN: My only footballing philosophy is to win more games than I lose, admits Mick McCarthy

MICK McCarthy has admitted his sole focus is on getting Ipswich Town out of the bottom three – regardless of how it is achieved.

The new Ipswich Town boss tonight met the media first time and was quizzed about his short and long-term plans for the club.

While he admitted that he wouldn’t have taken the job unless he was confident he could bring Premier League football back to Portman Road, his priority this season was simply Championship survival.

He said: “Getting out the bottom three is the short-term. There is no easy way of doing that – it might take a while. We will have some good days and bad days, (but) we have to keep focused and confident.”

Having won the Championship with both Sunderland and Wolves, McCarthy was understandably asked about whether he expected a third tilt at the top during his initial two-and-a-half year contract, which was confirmed this morning.

But he batted that away, saying: “Premier League...I am talking about staying in the Championship. The first job is to get out the bottom three and stay up.

“Marcus Evans (Town owner) has backed every manager he has worked with. If he sees it is being run in the right way, he will give me an opportunity to progress. But we are struggling like hell at the moment.

Most Read

“We are a million miles away (from the Premier League). That’s the idea and ambition, but we are nowhere near that. I want to manage there and I am sure all the players want to play there. But we have to pull our fingers out.”

McCarthy was quizzed about his “footballing philosophy” amid fears among some supporters that his brand of football wouldn’t suit the historic ‘Ipswich way’.

He did little to dismiss such notions. At a time when the Blues are winless in a dozen matches, all McCarthy is interested in is securing three points.

He explained: “My philosophy is winning more games than you lose! Big Sam (Allardyce) got West Ham promoted and where are they now? He plays winning football. How that is achieved has to be decided by your players.

“I think there is a bit of football snobbery about how to play football. If we go to Birmingham (on Saturday) and play brilliant and lose, will anyone be bothered?

“We are not going to be the next Barcelona, but working as hard as them will be a great start. We need to find a winning brand of football, whatever that might be.”

When asked how it felt to be back in football after a sabbatical of eight months, McCarthy added: “It feels good. I am delighted to be back – it has a good feel to it. I enjoyed being back on the training ground (this afternoon), using my voice and coordinating the team.

“I needed a rest away from football, but then I got this opportunity. I did have qualms about taking over a job at the bottom of the Championship.

“But it is a fantastic club with a great fanbase. What it hasn’t got is a particular good team. I am not being disrespectful to Paul Jewell or Hutch (Chris Hutchings), they would say the same thing.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter