Mick McCarthy inspired by Euro underdogs as he prepares to battle bigger budget rivals again

Mick McCarthy speaks to the media yesterday. Phot: Lucy Taylor.

Mick McCarthy speaks to the media yesterday. Phot: Lucy Taylor.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he takes inspiration from the underdog success stories at this summer’s European Championships as he prepares for seemingly his toughest task yet at Portman Road.

The Blues boss has confirmed that he will once again be restricted almost exclusively to free transfers and loans this summer as the club prepares for its 15th successive season in the Championship.

Meanwhile, Newcastle, Aston Villa and Norwich have come down from the Premier League with mammoth parachute payments, while the likes of Derby and Sheffield Wednesday continue to spend big.

With Town having punched above their weight to finish ninth, sixth and seventh in recent years, McCarthy said: “I like rubbing peoples’ noses in it, who have got a load of dosh to spend, to be quite honest with you. That suits me fine. If someone came and said ‘here’s 40 million to spend’, I’m not going to say ‘no, take it away’, but that’s not the case.

“I tell you every year that’s my remit, my modus operandi, my way of working – for the club, for the players and for Marcus Evans.

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“We do it well and let’s hope we do it well again this season.”

The fact that Newcastle and Villa have Champions League-winning managers in the form of Rafa Benitez and Roberto di Matteo respectively outlines the size of the task ahead.

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“You might find if I manage a team in the Champions League, with Champions League players, I might do alright,” said McCarthy.

“They might find it a bit of a shock unless they get a bit of advice. You can watch it all you like. I was told a story about – I’m not going to say who it was – but a foreign manager, in the Premier League, who watched a Championship game on TV and went ‘what is this?!’ He actually turned it off, but actually ended up in the Championship and soon found out what it was.

“It’s a tough old league and if you think you’re just going to win it, just because you’ve got money and a big squad, then you’re not. It doesn’t always work like that.”

He added: “We will compete with them all again because we’ve got really good pros, who care about the club. We have a good team spirit. We’ll be organised, we’ll be a team.

“The value of that has been emphasised so much in the European Championships this summer with the likes of Iceland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

“We’ll try and find a bit of sprinkling of magic dust with Teddy Bishop coming back and Andre Dozzell coming into the squad. They will bring real creativity. Let’s hope Didzy (David McGoldrick) and (Daryl) Murphy stay fit too.”

– ‘Not a lot has changed’ – see today’s EADT and Ipswich Star for Stuart Watson’s views.

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