Reaction: Mick McCarthy not sure if he tops Ipswich Town fans’ ‘list of hatred’

Town manager Mick McCarthy pictured during the Ipswich Town v Birmingham City (Sky Bet Championship)

Town manager Mick McCarthy pictured during the Ipswich Town v Birmingham City (Sky Bet Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 01 April 2017. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy isn’t sure whether he tops supporters ‘list of hatred’, but concedes the club will need a ‘sort out’ this summer.

Town manager Mick McCarthy pictured at the Ipswich Town v Birmingham City (Sky Bet Championship) mat

Town manager Mick McCarthy pictured at the Ipswich Town v Birmingham City (Sky Bet Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 01 April 2017. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Grant Ward’s fluke goal salvaged a point against fellow Championship strugglers Birmingham City at Portman Road this afternoon, and increased the gap to the relegation zone to six points with seven to play, but another edgy, scrappy, uninspiring affair on Suffolk soil again created a toxic atmosphere.

Disgruntled supporters in the North Stand went through a full rendition of angry chants during the second half, criticising McCarthy’s style of football and claiming owner Marcus Evans is ‘killing our club’.

When the subject of the atmosphere turning was raised in McCarthy’s post-match press conference he smiled wryly before saying ‘that’s one way of putting it’.

“Do you know what, we just need to get enough points to stay in the league and then...” said the Blues boss, tailing off.


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“That (the chanting) doesn’t help, but we’re the masters of our own downfall by giving that goal away. It was always going to turn if that happened.

“I haven’t got any complaints with that. Let them crack on. The list of hatred, I’m not sure who’s top - Marcus, me, Dougie, I think (managing director) Ian Milne got a bit today and all didn’t he? They’ve thrown him in the mix.

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“I keep saying, get enough points, stay in the league and then we can have a sort out within this league. That’s the important thing, nothing else. I just don’t want to be involved in a relegation.”

Asked why he had decided to recall veteran midfielder Douglas to the starting line-up for the first time since that ignominious FA Cup defeat at Lincoln back in January, McCarthy said: “Because of the way we play with the diamond. Plus Emyr Huws wasn’t fit, Jonny Williams was poorly, Kevin Bru had been away (with Mauritius) and just got back on Thursday. That kind of limited options somewhat.

“That’s being detrimental to Dougie though. I knew he would stay with the runners, I know I can trust him and I actually thought he played well, despite all the s***e he got, which I think is a disgrace.

“He was the one that kept going. I’ve got no problems with Dougie. I think he’s an example to any professional with how he’s kept himself right and played 90 minutes. I know some who, having not played for so long, would have had to come off after 60/70 minutes. I take my hat off to him. I think he was great.”

Providing a synopsis of the game, he said: “It is a point won because, bizarrely enough, we’re six points clear of the drop now instead of five.

“I thought the first half was just a Championship scrap and we probably shaded it. Second half we started alright, but lost all the momentum by giving a s***e goal away. And it was.

“Bart (Bialkowski) kept us in it with a save, we weren’t playing well, they were always going to gain the momentum, it was a horrible atmosphere and we got away with a wonder striker... or lucky cross! We got a point. That’s my summary of the game.”

On walking off arm-in-arm with Birmingham boss Gianfranco Zola at the end, he explained: “I said to him ‘this will make a lovely picture, two beleaguered managers together, come on let’s smile for the cameras’.”

Asked if he would now foster an us-against-the-wrold mentality in his dressing room ahead of Tuesday night’s visit of second-bottom Wigan, he replied: “I don’t want it to be that. I want it to be a good atmosphere. It’s us that’s got to create that atmosphere. I would hate to think people were almost relieved when we went behind because they think they’ll see the back of me. It doesn’t help.

“But, it’s down to us. If we play well on Tuesday night and go 2-0 up we’ll have a great atmosphere. If we go 1-0 down and are playing s***e then it will be a s***e atmosphere, like today. That’s down to us, not because of the fans.”

Cole Skuse is likely to be ruled out in midweek after coming off with concussion today, but Emyr Huws could return to action after a hamstring injury.

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