‘There’s a good chance I’ll be here next season’ – McCarthy quashes Barnsley links
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Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy is the odds-on favourite for the vacant Barnsley job. Here’s what he had to say about being linked to his hometown club and his uncertain future at Portman Road during today’s press conference.
Q: According to the bookies you’re off to Barnsley as their next manager. What are your thoughts on that?
A: *Smiles*. If I’m looking tired, then I’m sorry because I’ve had a long journey back last night!
Q: Nothing in that whatsoever, they haven’t contacted you?
A: No, nothing in it and I haven’t been contacted, no. I was surprised yesterday morning when somebody came into my office and said, ‘oh, are you still here?’ I said ‘what are you on about?’
The lads were taking the Michael saying ‘gaffer, you’re still here?’ and I hadn’t seen it and they had to tell me what was going on.
And my mates, of course, in Barnsley; I’ve been getting texts from them asking if they will be seeing me at Oakwell soon. I said ‘no... next season maybe’.
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Q: Is it a job that might attract you in the future being a Barnsley boy? Has it been in the back of your mind that one day you might return?
A: I don’t give that too much thought. I used to. When I was younger and had just started managing I thought it might be great but I don’t give it any thought at all.
Honestly, I’m enjoying my life here, where I live and the job I do. I don’t give any other job any thought, whether it’s the Ireland job or somebody else throws my name in and I have to answer questions about it, which I can’t do anything about.
I hope they get somebody and, whoever it is, they stay in the league. That’s what I hope.
Q: So the bottom line is you are here until the end of the season?
A: Of course, yeah, I’m here until the end of the season and I’m planning for next season in terms of players.
I’ve signed Aaron Drinan and Barry Cotter and I’m already looking at loan players, whoever they might be, and people who might be available. I’m planning pre-season and doing my job as professionally as I always have. I’m as focussed as I always am.
Talk of Barnsley and whatever else might come up doesn’t bother me.
Q: Is it flattering when your name comes up for other jobs?
A: Er, I guess it is, but who is saying it? It’s a bit like if I’m not here then Ipswich fans decide who they want and find some, in their words, former player, that they like and think will do a good job. Suddenly all these names go viral – is it one of those or a genuine thing?
It is nice when fans remember you fondly, yes.
Q: On Twitter, your favourite social media platform, there’s a hashtag called #BringMickHome which is being used by Barnsley fans at the moment...
A: Do you know what’s really interesting in this? It’s that it’s almost equal. It’s great when you get both sets of fans wanting you to go to Barnsley! *laughs*
Do you know what’s really sad? I might be disappointing both of them!
Q: Do you feel unloved here?
A: No, I think there’s a very noisy minority, there really is. No, I don’t, because I meet people in the town and I get mail and emails sent in and I really have good support here.
But it doesn’t matter what you do. I came back from the World Cup in 2002 and we’d got to the last 16 and there was a fair section who weren’t having me then as well for one reason or another!
I’m never going to please everybody but it’s funny because I guess the two people here who are reviled most are Marcus (Evans) and me. And we’re the two people who are doing best for the club.
He’s keeping it afloat by sticking six or seven million quid in every year and I’m doing my best by having a small budget and finishing in really good positions except for last season.
So the two people they want to get shot of are the two people who are doing most.
Q: You’ve seen all this plenty of times throughout your 25 years in management haven’t you?
A: For sure, yeah, yeah. I get lots of support. When I meet people I almost get apologies and they say ‘it’s not all of us’ and I don’t think it is for one minute.
I would have thought the fans who went to Sunderland would have had a great afternoon and would have enjoyed the performance and enjoyed the result. Winning games, that’s all it is, winning games.
Q: You said you are planning for next season - does that mean you can say with some certainty that you will be here next season?
A: *Pauses* Er, not with some certainty but I can say there is a chance I will be here, yeah. There’s a good chance I will be here.
If Marcus wants to and we can come to terms with it, then yeah. I’m enjoying what I’m doing and I’ve no great desire to leave but I’ve always said it could be my decision or it could be the club’s decision.
Until we get together... I’m sure we’ll be able to meet and then we’ll see.
Q: It sounds as if you’ve made your decision?
A: No, no, not at all.
Q: So your future is still up in the air?
A: Yes, but my job’s not. I could go ‘I’m not sure what I’m doing, so I won’t look at players and transfers’. I could do, but that’s never going to happen.
Whether I had made my mind up or not, I will still keep doing my job and planning for next season because I’m a manager, it’s my job and I’ve got to do it.
But that’s not the case, it’s still open.
Q: You’ve eluded in the past, when the criticism was coming thick and fast, that fans might be a bit bored of you. Are you not bored of those fans. Do you not thing a change would be best for everybody? Is that not how you feel?
A: What do you think?
Q: I think you’re entitled to make your own decision.
A: And I will, thank you.
I will make my decision but I haven’t and I’ve said that. The more I talk about it isn’t going to make me say anything other – I haven’t.
I’ve had a chat to Marcus and that’s just ongoing.