Marcus Evans believes in me, says Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy insists owner Marcus Evans continues to believe in him.
The Blues head into Sunday’s season-finale at Nottingham Forest knowing a lowest finish since promotion to the second-tier in 1957 is a possibility.
It’s been a forgettable campaign and a major decrease in season ticket sales is on the cards ahead of a 16th successive campaign in the Championship.
McCarthy says he is determined to rebuild the squad this summer, insists he still has the full support of Evans and is looking forward to their big chat about transfer budget next week.
“I’m ready for my holidays, I have to be honest, because it’s been a tough year,” admitted the Blues boss.
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“We’ve had some really good performances and really good results, but on average we have been below-average and we’ve had a fair bit of stick for that.
“We’ve not spent a lot of money in the transfer market of course. That’s been a bit of a bugbear of mine. We’ve probably had a hundred grand’s worth of credit and 10 million pounds worth of grief this year when it ought to be the other way around!
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“That disappoints me, but it happens. I’m the first to say we’ve not been good enough. We’ve not won enough at home and entertained our fans, so I understand the grief.
“It’s finished on Sunday though. Let’s hope we can finish on a high, can start again and get back to where we were a couple of seasons ago when this place was rocking.”
He continued: “I don’t go home and worry about what anybody might be saying, whether they think I’m a bad manager or a bad coach, because I’ve proved, pretty much categorically, that’s not the case.
“You can have a bad time, but you’ve got to come back and turn it around. That’s my intention.
“Pretty much over my five years it’s been a good time, so that’s why Marcus (Evans) has given me his support because he believes in me.
“Whether we are going to have loads of money to spend is another ball game, but support and time has never been in short supply from him.”
Asked if he had any concerns that Evans might be thinking a change in manager is required, McCarthy looked taken aback.
“No, not at all,” he said. “That would be a strange one now if he changed it. I don’t think that’s going to happen at all.
“If anything, the one person who has had faith and belief in me has been Marcus. And why wouldn’t he? When I’ve proved what I can do.
“Look at where Nottingham Forest are – they’ve had 10 managers since I’ve been here and spent a lot of money. And they’re in a relegation fight.
“Blackburn, how many managers have they had? Wigan, Rotherham, QPR, Wolves... There are a few of them who have changed managers plenty in recent years and they’re not in a better position than we are.
“I think he’s right to put his faith in me. I think it’s thoroughly deserved.”
With McCarthy having worked on a shoestring budget during his time at the club, will he be pushing for extra funds when he sits down with Evans?
“We’ve got players that I’d like to talk about, but until I know what I can spend on them we can’t do anything,” he said. “We’ve certainly got targets.”
But has he got a budget in mind that he thinks would be competitive?
“Not really,” replied McCarthy. “You could easily find out what Brighton’s budget was, and everybody elses’, and say ‘that’s a competitive budget’.
“What’s Preston’s budget? I’d say they’ve been competitive and pushing at that top six.
“What’s Nottingham Forest’s budget? What’s Blackburn’s budget? What’s QPR’s budget? It’s a damn sight more than at other clubs.
“I think it’s changed and got harder. When we finished sixth and seventh we’d have still been down the pecking order in terms of budgets.
“Can we compete again? Possibly. But it’s getting harder.”
Are supporters right to want Evans to spend more money?
“He sticks five million a year in to keep this place running,” said McCarthy. “It’s very hard on him when people say he’s not putting any money in. He’s got his leg in for £100m now has he? I don’t know how many would retain the appetite to keep doing that.”
And if Evans asks him what sort of money is needed to improve the team this summer, does McCarthy have a figure in mind?
“I wouldn’t tell you if I had,” said the Blues boss. “That would be a great headline tonight wouldn’t it? ‘Mick says he wants two and six!’
“I don’t know what I need. How can I tell? Dwight Gayle and Matt Ritchie cost £10m each (for Newcastle) and we’re not going to compete with that.
“Huddersfield have done great. They got their manager and Germany has been a good market for him.
“I don’t know where we are in terms of their budgets. It’s pie in the sky to say I’m just going to give him (Evans) a figure and he says ‘yes’.
“That conversation will be done sooner rather than later.”
McCarthy added: “I’m ready for the season to finish because it’s been a disappointment to a lot of us – to the fans, to the club, to me, to the players.
“It’s not for a want of trying. We’ve not done a lot different to previous years in terms of who we’ve tried to play.
“I will, absolutely, be back and ready for it again though on June 26. There is no reason why I shouldn’t.”