Mick McCarthy: I refused to be blackmailed by Crystal Palace over Tyrone Mings bid

Ipswich Town defender Tyrone Mings

Ipswich Town defender Tyrone Mings - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he refused to be blackmailed by Crystal Palace when it came to a transfer deadline day bid for defender Tyrone Mings.

Palace’s £3.5m bid for Mings was knocked back on August 31, as was Leicester City’s £7.5m offer for striker David McGoldrick.

McCarthy was quizzed on various subjects at last night’s Supporters’ Club AGM, held in the Legends Bar at Portman Road. Responding to the question ‘who’s decision was it not to sell McGoldrick and Mings?’, the Blues boss replied: “Marcus rang me up about Palace’s bid for Tyrone and I said ‘no – where are we going to get another left-back at this time?’ He said ‘just think about it and I’ll ring you back in 10 minutes’. He did and I said ‘still no’.

“They then said ‘we might not let you have Jonny Williams if you don’t sell him’. Now, excuse my French here, but I said b*******. I wasn’t going to be blackmailed. So yes, ultimately, it was my decision.

“I think if the bidding had reached eight or nine million then we would have had to say yes for Didzy, but in the end Leicester walked away from the deal as they felt they’d spent enough.”

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He added: “There’s a misconception that support from an owner is throwing money at things. Well Marcus has tried that and it didn’t work. That hasn’t been the case for me (financial backing), but that doesn’t bother me. I have quite enjoyed doing it that way.”

Asked if he already had targets in mind ahead of the January transfer window, McCarthy quipped: “Absolutely – anybody who doesn’t cost anything or want paying! We’re pretty good at that though aren’t we?

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“We are always looking at players. Let’s see if we can get ourselves back in the position we were in a few weeks ago, in the top six, ahead of the New Year.

“Then I can ask the question (of Evans) ‘can we spend a little bit to help strengthen the squad a bit?’ We have to get in that position first though.”

McCarthy was in good form at the event, attended by dozens of supporters. When one person said they wouldn’t reference a certain ex-Town manager (Roy Keane, a man McCarthy had an infamous fall-out with when manager of the Republic of Ireland), he joked ‘that suits me fine!’

On a similar subject, when asked about his relationship with international managers, McCarthy laughed: “I get on fine with the managers, it’s the assistants that are the problem!” (Keane assistant to the Republic of Ireland’s Martin O’Neill).

The Blues boss also explained the incident which saw him get involved in an angry exchange with a supporter behind the dug-out following last weekend’s 2-2 home draw with Huddersfield, the Suffolk side having let a two-goal lead slip.

“I have to apologise to that guy who was shouting at me,” said McCarthy. “I was livid with him, I gave him the laser beams, it was borderline Cantona style! TC (Terry Connor) put his arm around me and said ‘calm down soft lad’. In the end I went over and said ‘you’ve paid your money, you can say what you want’.

“He was just shouting ‘you’re rubbish’ though! When you’ve just had a bad day at the office that’s the last thing you need immediately after the game. Anyway, I’m going to stop the missus from coming to the match from now on!”

McCarthy made a point of praising his ‘right-hand man’ Terry Connor, who also answered a few questions, and when one fan said they were proud of they way the duo had turned the club around in two years there was hearty applause and shouts of ‘hear, hear’.

Various other members of Ipswich Town staff then answered questions, with managing directors Ian Milne explaining issues surrounding new Financial Fair Play rules.

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