‘When he came into my office I still wasn’t bothered’ – McCarthy on Twitter pressure to pick player at Town
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Former Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has revealed how he once had to deal with a Blues player ‘thinking he should be in the team’ because he was getting ‘bigged up’ on Twitter.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Daily Mail, McCarthy spoke about leaving his job as Republic of Ireland manager due to the coronavirus pandemic and his desire to get back into club coaching.
But the most interesting bit for Town fan will be when he discussed social media and football.
He said: “Social media has changed things a little but I have learned something there. I used to think Twitter offered only abuse to players. But it was pointed out to me at Ipswich that all the fans were bigging one of the lads up on Twitter and he was responding by thinking he should be in the team.
“It opened my eyes. Not that it made any odds, because when he came into my office I still wasn’t bothered. I said, “The fact that you are getting a million tweets saying you should be playing doesn’t make a blind bit of difference to me. I watch you train and perform, remember. I know”.”
McCarthy doesn’t name the player, but it was no secret that he wasn’t a fan of social media while at Portman Road, nor what he dismissed as ‘pub talk’ from fans calling for a player to play.
It’s possible he’s referring to former Manchester City loanee Bersant Celina, of whom he famously said that fans chanting for him to be introduced at Burton in October 2017 only made it less likely that McCarthy would bring him on.
As it was, Celina scored a dramatic late winner in the game with a wonderful free kick.
Elsewhere in the interview, the straight-talking 61-year-old says he wants to return to club management – and reach the fabled 1,000 games mark which only a select few have achieved. He’s currently on 981 matches.
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He said: “To get there would mean something. It says something, especially when I almost lost my first job at Millwall.
“I lost at Port Vale (in November 1994) and thought that might be it for me. Then we beat Nottingham Forest on the Tuesday night in the FA Cup and didn’t lose in the League again until the middle of February. It has been largely an upward curve since then.”
McCarthy added: “I know when I go back in it will tax me again. It is testing on your mind, on your energy, on your thought process, on your family. You ask any manager. They will be telling you the same. But I will also tell you now that I still love it.”
He continued: “The longer you are out the more you realise you relish it and thrive on it and need it.
“Doing nothing would be a real test for me. I need to be standing on that touchline and being at training every day and coaching and having that craic with the lads. The atmosphere that you create at a club is brilliant and that’s what you enjoy so much. It’s infectious.”
McCarthy, a manager for 28 years, finished: “Now it’s on to the next one. I am ready.”