Trust in manager Mick McCarthy’s methods, says former Ipswich Town and Republic of Ireland midfielder Matt Holland

Mick McCarthy watches Matt Holland train during their time work together with the Republic of Irelan

Mick McCarthy watches Matt Holland train during their time work together with the Republic of Ireland - Credit: PA

Ex-Ipswich Town skipper Matt Holland says Blues fans must place their trust in manager Mick McCarthy’s methods.

McCarthy irked some with his comments following Saturday’s 2-1 home win over Fulham.

When asked if his team selection had been justified – the choice of a workmanlike midfield having been criticised on social networking sites prior to kick-off – the Blues boss had replied: “You know I don’t give a flying what anybody wants to see in the team, don’t you? The more people shout, the less chance they’ve got of going on. They should have recognised that by now.”

The Blues boss certainly has his favourites, transfer-listed striker Paul Taylor catching the eye in Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat at League One side Crawley Town only for McCarthy to dismiss the Liverpudlian’s chances of breaking back into the first team picture out of hand straight afterwards.

However, Holland – who played under McCarthy for the Republic of Ireland, reaching the last 16 of the World Cup in 2002 – says that players have no problem with the Yorkshireman’s stubborn side.

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“He’s probably the most honest manager you’ll come across, one of the most loyal managers you’ll come across,” said Holland.

“If you’re in the team and doing well for him then he backs you 100%. If you’re not in the team then you’ve got a real fight to get in the side. He doesn’t change the team readily.

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“I remember one game playing in Portugal with Ireland – I came on at half-time, scored the equaliser and thought ‘I’ve got a chance to play the next one now’.

“He went straight back to the same eleven that started though and he was honest enough to say why he was doing it. He was up front with me.

“I was disappointed, but at the same time at least you know where you stand with him.

“If you’re not in the team there’s a reason for it and he’ll tell you why. You can’t ask for anymore than that.”

Holland – who was a big part of the Blues side that won the Play-Off Final in 2000 before claiming a fifth-place finish in the Premier League a year later – continued: “Organisation and discipline is key with him. He likes the right characters and I think he’s got a lot of those now.

“That can take you a long way that team spirit. And he certainly engineers that.

“I didn’t have any fall-outs with Mick, but he stands his ground and he’s a tough man, there’s no doubt about that.

“That’s important because it’s difficult being a manager these days because I think that players now have a lot of power. It’s important that the manager is the number one person at the football club – Mick certainly is that.

“I loved playing under him and I’d love to see him get Ipswich promoted.”

Can he see that happening this season?

“I’m sure if you asked Mick he would say he’d like three or four more players before the end of the transfer window,” said Holland.

“That won’t be easy with the transfer budget he’s got, but if can get some more bodies in they could have a real push for the play-offs.”

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