Tommy Smith not surprised as Mick McCarthy is linked to move from Ipswich Town to Aston Villa

Tommy Smith

Tommy Smith - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Tommy Smith admitted the Ipswich Town players aren’t surprised to see manager Mick McCarthy linked with the Aston Villa vacancy, but stressed the importance of the Irishman staying at the club.

Since Remi Garde’s departure from Villa Park, experienced Championship manager McCarthy has regularly been mentioned in connection with the vacancy, while he has also featured near the top of various bookmakers’ lists alongside the likes of David Moyes and Nigel Pearson.

Given he’s won the Championship previously with Wolves and Sunderland, and transformed Ipswich from a relegation-threatened side to promotion challengers since 2012, Smith isn’t surprised to see his manager linked to such jobs.

However the New Zealand international said he and his teammates all hope McCarthy remains at Portman Road.

“We’ve improved on every season he’s been here so far, so it would be a massive loss for us (if he went to Villa),” Smith said.

“Hopefully he’ll stay and the whole squad of players are backing him to stay.

“There’s not a lot we can do about it really so we just have to keep on doing our jobs.

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“His career in management speaks for itself and it’s no surprise to us that he has been linked to jobs previously, while he’s been with us.

“A manager of his calibre is always going to be linked with jobs.”

McCarthy’s quest to add another Championship promotion to his CV suffered another blow on Saturday as they were held 0-0 by a lacklustre Wolves side, but Smith took positives from a clean sheet going into two home games with Charlton and Brentford.

“The hardest thing to do in football is to put the ball in the back of the net and we didn’t do that, but a point away from home and a clean sheet is never a bad thing,” Smith said.

“We had the chances to win the game and it’s disappointing we weren’t able to capitalise on that, but a point at Wolves is a good point and we move on to two home games where we can hopefully pick up six points there.

“It’s about keeping on going and never believing you’re out of it.

“Six points can swing in two games but we have to keep our heads, keep going and hopefully it will click for us.

“We have two home games we need to try and make sure we pick up maximum points from.”

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