‘It was good to see him’ - Spence on McCarthy as former boss says goodbye at Playford Road
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Mick McCarthy was back at Ipswich Town’s training ground yesterday morning to say his goodbyes.
McCarthy and assistant Terry Connor left the club on Tuesday night, leaving Bryan Klug in charge for the final four games of the season, starting with Saturday afternoon’s clash with Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.
Spence said McCarthy seemed in good spirits at Playford Road yesterday morning, but the defender admitted it was strange to see him at the club but not out on the training pitches for this morning’s session.
“He was good, I think he looked ready for a round of golf and it was good to see him,” Spence said.
“It was a bit weird for him not to be out on the training pitch but he was good and he seemed in good spirits. He was pottering around. It’s not often he’s not out even if the first team aren’t out training, he’s normally out somewhere, so it was weird to see that.
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“I think the main goodbye came on Tuesday and then I’m sure when we’ve seen him today everyone will have had a personal message to him which they would have conveyed however they felt best.
When asked how the players were informed of McCarthy’s departure, Spence said: “We got into the dressing room (after the Barnsley game) and, as is common place we went round and shook everyone’s hand like we always do and then the manager announced it was going to be his last game.
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“It was odd because we’d had a really positive result from a positive game and a lot of things to be exited about for both the present and the future, partly because of Barry’s (Cotter) performance and the way in which we had played in general.
“Then the manager announced he wasn’t going to be here and that himself and TC were going to go. He then said a few words and I think those are probably best to stay private.
“Then he told us he would see us today and we could hold our emotional goodbyes until today.”
After saying their goodbyes to McCarthy, the squad then met with caretaker boss Klug and his assistants Gerard Nash and Chris Hogg.
“Today was the first time Bryan got to address us all as a group and we had a good chat as a group,” Spence said.
“Our focus is very simple, it’s to be as well prepared as we can be for Nottingham Forest this weekend and to make this last period of games as meaningful and enjoyable as they possibly can be.
“Bryan is a familiar face round here, Bryan’s brilliant, so we are well acclimated with him and with Nashy and Hoggy.
“Today was a bit of an odd day because those who played on Tuesday will only do so much and then obviously there’s a top-up session for those who haven’t.
“Nashy and Hoggy have conducted training sessions with us all year so there was nothing too strange about it. The strangest time will probably come on Saturday afternoon.”