‘I’ve left them in far better shape than I found them’ - McCarthy on his ‘sad’ goodbye to Ipswich
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Mick McCarthy has insisted he leaves Ipswich Town with ‘nothing but fond memories’ following his departure last night.
McCarthy left his post at Portman Road last night after five-and-a-half years in charge, earning finishes of 14th, 9th, 6th, 7th and 16th, and departs with the club 12th in the Championship with four games to play.
He won 105 of his 279 games in charge, but departs without a victory over rivals Norwich in eight attempts with defeat to the Canaries in the 2014/15 play-offs ending his best season in charge.
He had been due to move on at the end of his contract this summer but, after the victory over Barnsley in which supporters booed his substitution of young debutante Barry Cotter, he took the decision to depart early having been subject of abuse from sections of the crowd during a number of spells this season.
He leaves content, though, insisting he walks away with the club in a better position than when he arrived in November 2012, at a time when the club looked destined to drop into League One.
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“I started with a win and I finished with a win and you can probably see why I’m going, with the reaction after I took Barry Cotter off,” McCarthy said in an interview with the club.
“That’s just pathetic. I’ve signed him, I’ve played him and he’s absolutely knackered – he had to come off.
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“I’m out of here. It’s sad because I’ve loved my time here and I thank everybody for all their support.
“I’ve done my stuff and I’ve left them in far better shape than I found them.
“I’ve not enjoyed the fact I’m not in control, really but the lads have been brilliant, they’ve been fantastic.
“I enjoyed the game (against Barnsley because I thought we played well and could have won by more, especially in the second half. But the situation I’m in – caretaker manager in my own job – is ridiculous so I’m happy to move on.”
McCarthy also recalled some of his fondest memories of his time at the club, while insisting he retained the support of the staff and players until the very end.
“In terms of games, Crystal Palace here when we beat them 3-0 (April 2013), Newcastle when we beat them 3-1 (April 2017) and I remember starting here (under the lights) against Nottingham Forest when we got after them and beat them (November 2012). We’ve had some great nights and I’ve had a great time, actually.
“I’m leaving sadly, really, but I’m not prepared to take the last four games, that’s for sure.
“It’s been an all-inclusive club, we’ve all been one, it’s been lovely and I’ve said thanks to them (club staff) for all their support. But it’s come to an end.
“If you go down and ask somebody I can’t think of one member of staff who wants me to leave and I can’t think of one player who wants me to leave.
“It’s an unusual situation to be in and I take great pride in that being the way they feel about me, which is nice. I love the bones of the lads and I would do anything for them – and them for me.”
McCarthy confirmed he is now looking for the ‘right’ job - which he latter reaffirmed in an interview on talkSPORT - before thanking also-departing assistant Terry Connor for his continued support.
“We came together, we’re a bit of a package and we’re going together,” McCarthy said. “He makes my job a lot easier on a daily basis, just by his counsel and his support all the time.
“I know if I get into a scrap he will be right behind me.
“I trust him with my life.”
McCarthy finished by thanking the fans for their support over his tenure.
“They’ve been fabulous, I’ve had a wonderful time and I’ve had great support from the supporters and everybody about the place,” McCarthy said.
“I have nothing but fond memories of it. It’s a shame it’s been soured towards the end, but overall my memories are really happy ones.”