Money doesn’t buy team spirit, says McCarthy

Martyn Waghorn only cost �250k but has already netted 10 times this season. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Martyn Waghorn only cost �250k but has already netted 10 times this season. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Money spent is not an indication of who the best teams are in the Championship.

So says Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy ahead of his side’s match at big-spending Middlesbrough tomorrow afternoon (3pm).

The recently-relegated Teessiders have a squad which cost around £93m in transfer fees to assemble – including a £41m outlay this summer following relegation from the Premier League.

By comparison, McCarthy has spent less than £4m over the course of his entire five years in charge at Portman Road.

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And yet, the Blues are seventh in the table following impressive back-to-back wins against Derby and Nottingham Forest, while Boro have slipped to ninth following three defeats from four.

“It highlights the haves and have nots in this division, but it doesn’t highlight who are the best teams,” said McCarthy. “It’s all down to who everybody perceives to be the best.

“When you make so many changes it can be hard to find your best team and the best blend. We’ve seen that before with Derby, who everybody thought should just be going up and it didn’t happen for them.

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“I never get surprised by results in this league. I think the problem for Middlesbrough is that everybody expects more from them because of the squad they’ve got and the signings that they’ve made.

“Look at the league though, it doesn’t always work like that.”

He continued: “I bet if you asked every manager what they would prefer – to do it on a tight budget or to be given everything – I guess we’d all take the latter.

“It’s still the same conundrum of piecing it together and making it work though. That’s not always easy, even with the best players.

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“When you have really good players, earning good money that are sat in the stands it can be difficult. They can feel so detached. If they are not the best of characters, and who is when they are not playing, then that can have a really negative impact on the rest of the squad.

“That’s something that doesn’t happen with us. There have been one or two pains in the backsides along the way that we’ve had to eliminate and get out, but our team spirit has always been terrific.”

He added: “Middlesbrough are having it tough at the moment, but it could turn at any moment for them and Garry (Monk), I think, is very capable.

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“If you go through their squad – (Britt) Assombalonga, (Ashley) Fletcher, Patrick Bamford – they’ve got a lot of firepower and if they get it right on the day then it’s a tough task up there.”

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