Mick McCarthy wants to win back the Ipswich Town fans
- Credit: PA
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy wants to win back over any supporters that have lost faith in him, but believes he still has the backing of the majority.
Season ticket renewals are down by nearly 7% on this time last year, Town’s dismal form in 2016 – particularly at Portman Road – meaning they will almost certainly be competing in the Championship for a 15th successive campaign.
Recent insipid home displays against Rotherham, Charlton and Brentford has seen criticism about entertainment value gather pace ahead of tomorrow’s game at sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday.
“Someone stopped me in the car-park the other day and said ‘have you got your tin hat on?’ And I said ‘why’? He said, ‘well, because of the stick you’re getting’. And I went ‘I didn’t know I was getting any stick’. He said ‘yeah, you’ve been getting loads’.
“I haven’t seen the criticism and I don’t go searching for it because I’m actually more concerned about how I feel about it.
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“I’m coming up for four years here. Maybe they are getting tired of me? The average tenure in this division is 10 months. Maybe people like a few changes in managers? The last place I left (Wolves) certainly thrived after I went didn’t they?”
He continued: “Let me tell you, I’d prefer supporters to be with me and supporting the team because together we are certainly stronger. Once we start getting fragmented it becomes difficult for all of us – difficult for them to stomach me and difficult for us to do our jobs because it becomes nervy.
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“I want to win them back and to be on my side and be supporting me and supporting the team.”
He added: “I went to the supporters’ do after the Brentford game and I have to tell you the last place I wanted to be at half past five was there.
“By the time I’d been in there for half an hour though it was the best thing I could have done because I felt so much warmth and feeling towards me, TC (Terry Connor) and the players. It was support and empathy rather than a really bad taste in supporters’ mouths.
“If that reflects our true support then I do think I have still got a lot of support, probably the biggest percentage.
“The ones we saw on Saturday, the ones who are nice to us and thank us for what we’ve done for the club, they care just as much about the club as the ones who are shouting abuse and screaming and saying I should be sacked or I should resign.”
– See today’s EADT and Ipswich Star for Kevin Beattie’s thoughts on Tommy Smith’s contract and Ian Westlake’s thoughts on whether it’s time to play the kids.