Northstander: Not for the first time, Mick’s post-match comments are the talking point of another Town game – and that’s sad
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Terry Hunt says a feeling of togetherness between fans and the club appears a million miles away at Portman Road right now.
It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when, for the umpteenth time, most of the post-match discussion focuses on our manager’s comments rather than the game itself.
This, of course, is the product of two things.
Firstly, we have a habit of taking part in some very uneventful games and, secondly, our manager frequently makes controversial, inflammatory comments which anger the fans.
I suppose, in a slightly twisted way, we should be grateful to McCarthy for his regular post-match pronouncements because, without them, what on earth would there be for us to talk about?
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This season, I’m afraid, is just drifting. At this rate, the only interest left will centre on our rivals from north of the border. We have the second leg of the local derby to come and, of course, the thrilling contest between us and them for 12th place.
So at least McCarthy’s opinions provide a talking point.
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But, in reality, it is sad. In my 50 years as a Town supporter, I’ve never known such a gulf in the relationship between the fans and the manager. There is widespread frustration among the supporters for a variety of well-documented reasons - but surely it’s the manager’s job to try to make the fans feel better, not to say things which deepen the divisions?
His latest comments were totally unnecessary. Speaking about supporters describing Stephen Gleeson’s loan signing as “underwhelming,” McCarthy said: “That’s why I am the manager and that’s why they are the fans.”
He could have just said: “I’m glad those supporters who were ‘underwhelmed’ by Stephen arriving have now seen what a good player he is.” Point made, but in a less confrontational way.
Does this matter? Yes, it does, because a successful football club is built on teamwork, and that team involves everyone - players, supporters, and all the backroom staff.
The manager has to be a key person in creating a harmonious relationship with the fans. If performances haven’t been great, that job becomes tougher.
Saying daft things which annoy the supporters makes it nigh-on impossible. All of which means that, at the moment, a feeling of togetherness between fans and club is a million miles away.