‘They got bored of me... I should have left earlier’ - McCarthy on his Ipswich departure

Mick McCarthy's relationship with Town fans soured badly towards the end of his tenre. Picture: STEV

Mick McCarthy's relationship with Town fans soured badly towards the end of his tenre. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Mick McCarthy has admitted he should have left Ipswich Town earlier than he did.

The 61-year-old, who left his role as Republic of Ireland manager earlier this month, departed Portman Road in April 2018 after five-and-a-half years with the club.

He saved Ipswich from relegation in 2012/13 and defied his playing budget to take the Blues to the play-offs in 2015, where they lost to Norwich City, before an erosion in his relationship with the club’s supporters.

A slide in the league and a humbling cup loss to Lincoln City characterised a miserable 2016/17 campaign, before McCarthy’s final season was notable for clashes with supporters. Most notable among those was an incident at Norwich, where McCarthy appeared to aim an ‘up yours’ gesture at the travelling fans following Luke Chambers’ goal.

“We got to the play-offs at Ipswich — that is a club I should have left earlier,” McCarthy said in a lengthy interview with The Athletic.

“They got bored with me, but me being belligerent I wasn’t going to walk, certainly Marcus Evans, the owner, wasn’t going to sack me because I was keeping them up — we finished 12th the last season that I was there.

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“But it did turn sour, which is such a shame because I had a great rapport with the fans when I first went there. We didn’t spend any money and we had really good results.

“And the rapport that I had with them from the start, I wasn’t doing anything different when I left. But I think they got a bit bored with pragmatic me.”

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Speaking recently, McCarthy insisted he is looking for a new job and is not contemplating retirement.

“Absolutely,” McCarthy said, when asked if he plans to remain in football during an interview with FAI TV.

“This gives everyone clarity and it’s a decision I support because it’s only right and fair Stephen gets his chance. It’s bittersweet.

“But I’ll absolutely stay in football, I have no intention of leaving. What this does mean is that I’m back on the market and I can look for a job now.”

“I’m not packing it in, I’m 61, not 71,” McCarthy added during an interview with talkSPORT. “I’ll have to take a bit of a break though obviously because there’s nothing going on.”

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