Mick McCarthy doesn’t care what people think about him

Town manager Mick McCarthy applauds the fans as he comes on the pitch with assistant Terry Connor ah

Town manager Mick McCarthy applauds the fans as he comes on the pitch with assistant Terry Connor ahead of the Ipswich Town v Nottingham Forest (Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 05 March 2016. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Opinions about him have fluctuated, but Mick McCarthy says he doesn’t care.

He was ‘Miracle Mick’ after turning a relegation-threatened club into one that secured a Championship play-off place in the space of three seasons – and all on a shoestring budget.

This season has been tougher though. There have been a number of key injuries and the team’s form has been less consistent.

The most recent tough spell led to a big debate about McCarthy’s direct style of play and even led to some questioning whether he had taken the club as far as he could.

Back-to-back victories have moved the Blues back to within a point of the top-six though and the performances of Ben Pringle and Kevin Foley have quietened critics of the recruitment policy.

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“If people don’t trust me now I might as well pack up and go home!” joked McCarthy.

Asked if he liked the underdog tag and proving people wrong, he replied: “Do I like it? It’s been nailed to my forehead all throughout my career! I’m not trying to shed it and I’m not trying to promote it. It just doesn’t worry me at all. Whatever tag somebody wants to label me with, so be it. I just keep doing what I do.

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“I don’t change from one week to another just because we’ve won or lost. I am consistent in the way I approach things. We’re still being competitive.”

Having managed the Republic of Ireland to the last 16 of a World Cup and won the Championship with both Sunderland and Wolves, does McCarthy feel his achievements in the game are not given the credit they deserve?

“It doesn’t worry me if people give me credit for what I’ve done in the game or not,” he said. “I had a great playing career, in my head. I ended up playing 500 league games, won promotion a number of times, the league and the Cup with Celtic.

“I played in a European Championships and a World Cup. I captained my country in the quarter-final of a World Cup. It’s the same with management.

“It’s what I think about what I’ve done that matters, not what anyone else thinks. People say do you worry about being labelled ‘a good Championship manager?’ Do I hell!

“Ten months is the average tenure in this division and I’ve been here nearly four years now. My shortest time at a club is three years.

“I don’t worry what anyone thinks. I just get on with it, look after my family and, do you know what, I don’t half enjoy it too.”

With Town looking to keep their momentum going at rock-bottom Bolton tonight, following 1-0 wins against Huddersfield and Nottingham Forest, McCarthy said: “I’ve been in teams fighting relegation and there comes a time where you almost relax and just play football, thinking ‘it’s a done deal this’. You can suddenly start playing with a freedom and think ‘where the hell did that come from?’

“I’m hoping that’s not the case and they are still feeling the pressure.”

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