One-game-at-a-time focus is the only way to achieve a brighter future, says Mick McCarthy
Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says a one-game-a-time focus is the only way to reach a brighter future.
The Blues are the longest serving Championship outfit at 15 successive seasons and there is a growing sense that the club is simply treading water.
Evidence of a long-term goal is hard to see, but McCarthy is thinking only of tomorrow’s visit of Cardiff City – a 16th versus 22nd place clash.
He said: “At this moment in time I’m interested in beating Cardiff and that will give us whatever springboard we need to move forward. That’s all we have to keep doing, moving forward. I think it would be premature to look beyond that.
“You ask me ‘what are you going to do in the future?’ Well the future is Saturday for me. Because if we win that game then we can improve from there.”
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He continued: “What do I think fans expect? I think they turn up and expect their team to compete, hopefully play good football, win the game and try as hard as they can.
“We’re doing, pretty much, most of that. I don’t think we’re entertaining them particularly, because we’re not scoring goals, but we’re trying our damndest to do it. It’s not like we’re not trying. Everyone is giving 100% and putting all the effort in.”
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So entertaining the supporters is important then?
“It is important,” said McCarthy. “But we beat QPR 3-0 and if anyone, for one minute, thinks we were wonderfully free-flowing and played expansive football like Barcelona or Manchester City would be sadly mistaken. We kept going, scored the goal, kept going and it could have been five or six. Then it was entertaining, and everyone goes away and remembers that.
“It seems like a great game, but up until the second goal goes in it was a turgid, scrappy Championship game of football. But everybody went away happy, me included. Wasn’t that nice?”
With that QPR win followed up by a 2-0 defeat at Bristol City last weekend, McCarthy said: “We all have to look at ourselves and question whether we could be better.
“I’ve never questioned, ever, the commitment of the players, their work-rate or endeavour. I wish sometimes that was the case so I could get stuck into some lazy so-and-so and have a right pop.
“Can we have a final pass or cross or finish that is better? Can we get ourselves into better positions and not stop and watch instead of carrying on the run into the box? Of course we can. That’s the self responsibility I’m talking about.”
He added: “We should be favourites here, playing against Cardiff. Let’s hope that proves to be the case.”