McCarthy: Style Will Come Once We're Safe
Saturday, 2nd Mar 2013 06:03
Boss Mick McCarthy has promised that his Town side will ultimately add stylish football to their organisation and work ethic – but says securing their Championship status is currently the priority.
Various opposition managers have referred to Town’s new-found grit and determination in recent weeks, something which pleases the Blues boss: “That’s great because it means we’re doing that side of it right, the organisation.
“They all work hard, the players are great, they run more than any other team every week, according to the Prozone stats.
“Does that mean a lot? It means they’re working hard anyway. We might not win the game, but it means they’re playing for the club, they’re playing for me, playing for TC, for themselves, they’re motivated to at least work hard,
“And let me tell you, fundamentally that’s a really good base to start from. And then, if and when we’re safe, we can start again next year and maybe we can embellish that with a bit more football.
“I’ve won the Championship twice with two teams that have had flying wingers and centre forwards and have won it with a bit of style. But let me tell you, it’s substance over style that was required, and still is with 12 games to go.”
He says he is aware that his sides have a reputation for their battling qualities: “When I was sacked at Wolves I know Manchester United went there and they thought ‘Happy days’ because they knew what they would have got out of me a tough, belligerent, well-organised, disciplined performance. And that’s the same all the time.
“But then, we would like to get goals and play nicer, happier, prettier football and excite everybody, but I think the most excitement we’ll get, as people involved in Ipswich, is staying in the league for now.
"That’s paramount to everything and that’s not cut and dried, it’s a long way from it.”
McCarthy, who joked that he would be staying at home today to let Terry Connor take control after his assistant took charge for the 4-0 defeat of Middlesbrough while he was ill recently, feels his side are capable of stepping up their game against the division’s better teams: “We can do that, there’s no doubt about it. We weren’t bad against Watford but Watford punished us with two really good goals.
“And I have to say I think these have got similar ability to Watford. They’ve got good players. We’ll have to play better than we did against Watford.”
Despite the lowly position, the Blues boss says the players deserve praise with Town currently seventh in a league table starting on November 1st when he took over: “I know it doesn’t count because of all the games beforehand, and I’m not taking some morbid pleasure out of where we are and what we’ve done with the games we’ve had, I’m giving the players a bit of toffee there, a compliment for what they’ve achieved.
“Because if it had started on November 1st we’d all be patting them on the back saying ‘Well done, we’re in the top eight there’.
“And this has to be said to them, not just keep reminding them that we’re struggling just above the bottom three. They have to be reminded of what their form has been over 21 games. It has to be highlighted.
“I know it’s not about stats, it’s about where we are, that’s what I deal with, the here and now, where we are, points, what the position is.
“But even I have to think back and say ‘Hold on a minute, they’ve done great’ and tell them they’ve done well and compliment them about how well they’ve done and whatever went on before, for whatever reason, doesn’t matter.
“For 21 games we’ve had a really good return of points. We’ve had one and half points a game, that’s a good haul at any time, that.”
In terms of where the rest of the points which will keep the Blues in the division will come from McCarthy is unconcerned: “All the games are going to be crucial. Where are you going to pick the points up? Heaven only knows.
“I said last week, did anyone fancy us against Charlton? Bolton? Wolves? Probably not, that was strange sequence of games.
“Then everyone was up for Barnsley, Bristol City and Peterborough, but we didn’t get the points that we wanted. We’ve just got to pick them up where we can.”
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