Reaction: McCarthy questions whether Ipswich Town fans are ‘getting tired’ of him

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy waving his players forward today. Picture: Steve Waller
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Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy waving his players forward today. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has questioned whether fans are getting tired of him after his team were booed off the pitch following a 1-0 home defeat to relegation-battling Rotherham this afternoon.

Less than a year ago McCarthy was being hailed as a minor miracle worker after transforming the Blues from a team that seemed destined for League One into one that secured a Championship play-off place within the space of three years – all on a miniscule budget.

This has been a largely frustrating season though, with the ever-divisive functional not fancy tactical approach – not helped by a series of key injuries to the likes of Ryan Fraser, David McGoldrick and Teddy Bishop – creating a number of non-events in terms of footballing spectacles.

This afternoon’s defeat was probably the worst of the lot in terms of the team being devoid of creative spark and, with Town four points adrift of the top-six with eight games to go, the manager and players were booed off the field and McCarthy stormed straight down the tunnel amidst chants of ‘what a load of rubbish’.

“We deserved to get booed, but I don’t have to listen to it,” he said. “We’re going for the EPPP in the academy, well that summed it up today – it was a P**s Poor Performance. I can’t be any more honest or plain than that.”

Asked what disappointed him most about today’s performance, he said: “I’m going out for a bite to eat about half past eight, I might still be here if I go through it all. All round I don’t think any of us, which stems for me, the team I picked and how we set up, to the players, none of us have come out with any glory.”

He continued: “I take a big part of the responsibility because I left the team as it was from Tuesday night. Whether we didn’t have the legs or the energy I don’t know, but I watched the Blackburn game back on Thursday morning (an unconvincing 2-0 win) and I thought I’d leave it alone because I thought we’d played well enough.

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“In hindsight, which is 20/20 vision, maybe I should have changed it. Liam Feeney livened us up when he came on. I take a large part of that responsibility.”

Asked about the ironic cheers which greeted his substitutions, many fans clearly feeling players like Feeney, Ben Pringle and Kevin Bru should have started, McCarthy said: “I said the other day, maybe people are getting tired of me. Are they? I don’t know. It happens.

“We all want to win, and when fans have paid good money to see us play well and win, which we haven’t done, of course I accept the boos, yeah.

“As I say, in hindsight I wish I’d made different decisions, I’d picked a different team and we’d won, but we haven’t. Hindsight is 20/20 vision. I left the team as it was because we’d won the game. I wanted consistency. If I’d changed it and we got beat then it’s the other way around. I have to take responsibility for my actions, which I have.

“I’ve had the plaudits in the past, I’m getting the brickbats. That’s the way it is.”

Asked to elaborate on his comments about fans maybe being tired of him, he said: “I’m not claiming to be a victim of my own success at all, I just sense that people get tired of seeing us play that way, which I would if we played like that all the time, but we haven’t played like that all the time.

“I just think people get a bit more intolerant of results and performances. And I get them being intolerant of that today.”

It was put to McCarthy that one of the main criticisms being levelled at him was the lack of creative players on the pitch that could really get fans off their seats. Did he feel that team full of hard-working players was the best way to get a result against Rotherham today?

“Yeah I did, because I could see what was coming,” he said. “I sensed it wasn’t going to be thrilling or pretty or wide open and expansive. I knew we’d have to defend against free-kicks, long kicks and corner kicks. We did all of that and then we conceded a really poor goal.

“I didn’t want to be 1-0 down with a nice pretty team on the field. You can always add and try to create something later in the game, but it’s just not worked out today.”

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