Mick McCarthy relishes chance to resume Louis van Gaal rivalry

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy - Credit: Ashley Pickering

Mick McCarthy and Louis van Gaal resume a 13-year-old rivalry at Old Trafford tomorrow evening as Ipswich Town face Manchester United in a Capital One Cup third round tie (8pm ko).

One of McCarthy’s biggest managerial triumphs came against the Red Devils boss when his 10-man Ireland side beat a star-studded Dutch team 1-0 in Dublin on their way to qualification for the 2002 World Cup.

Van Gaal had suggested in the build-up to that match that McCarthy’s job would be under pressure if he lost, but it was him who ended up resigning.

McCarthy used his counterpart’s comments in his team-talk that night, but says all that is water under the bridge now.

“I can tell you I was absolutely f****** delighted to win that one. But that’s gone and finished now,” said the Blues boss.


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“It was all starting to annoy me at the time because they were all booking their hotels and getting ready to be in the play-offs. It was as if he had no chance.

“Unfortunately for Louis, one of you guys will have asked ‘do you think Mick McCarthy’s job will be under pressure if they lose?’ And he will have answered honestly and said ‘it probably will’.

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“He answers a question honestly and I get the hump about it! That’s just the way it is. At the time I was probably an angrier younger man then. Now I’m a bit more pragmatic and understanding about the way it all works.”

He added: “Someone will be asking him about me at his press conference and he’ll be like ‘oh yeah, I kind of remember that’, it will be like a minor irritation that he’s reminded of.

“I’ll be shaking his hand before and after, like I do every single other manager.

“I’m looking forward to pitting my wits against him again because he’s been such a success in the game.”

– Log on at 6pm for live match coverage of tonight’s game.

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