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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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AndrewPC added 06:26 - Mar 2
I like the way MM presents himself and the assessments of the team's performances and prospects to the public/media.

Brutally frank and honest; with credit where credit is due. No BS. The man has great insight into the psychological side of the players' motivations and efforts.

Pedigree !
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Morgan added 07:35 - Mar 2
Huge game today. We are nearly in the position where all games until the end of the season are going to be cup finals. The problem we have is although Leicester are far and away favourites on paper we can't afford to write off point in any game or we will get jumped by someone below us who are all capable of putting together a run of results! I think our squad and manager are too good to see us drop but many sides over the years would have felt the same.

Well we got our wish about having something to play for until the end of the season, it's not exactly what I had in mind but lets get behind the side and do our bit. I think we are due a couple of goals today and have enough strength to turn Leicester over at home despite what the league table suggests, no way will it be the beating we took at their place earlier in the season.

I'm not fussed either about how we play for the time being, one of my season highlights was the win at B'ham and we were hanging on to out 1-0 lead for most of the game doing the ugly things really well. I would take the same today!

Come on you blues.
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BigAlwasmyhero added 07:47 - Mar 2
Morgan.... You hit the nail on the head!
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BlueBoots added 08:45 - Mar 2
"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"

OK, time for my stats then... :^D

Every manager seems to have a "honeymoon period" when they take over a club, and unfortunately that stat disguises the fact that, in terms of results under MicMac, we've had 2 good months followed by 2 poor ones...Town would currently be 18th in a league table starting on 1st January.

Goals win games, and we've simply not been scoring enough of them in recent weeks. More stats...in the last 10 games, we've scored:

5 games: 0 goals
4 games: 1 goal
1 game: 4 goals

...and of course the 4-0 game was against Boro who would currently be 24th in a league table starting on 1st January!

While I understand building from a platform where the team are "hard to beat", that task would be a lot easier if we were scoring 2s and 3s, rather that 0s and 1s in every game...
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algarvefan added 09:11 - Mar 2
BlueBoots you make a good and valid point, things need to pick up fast. Sadly I cannot currently see where the goals are going to come from, lets hope they flow today as we need to win all our home games and pick up a few points away as well
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PJewellisaGod added 10:38 - Mar 2
Need to somehow keep Woods, Nugent, Vardy etc quiet. Going to be a tough call. Might need to neutralise Wellens in midfield too.
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bournemouthblue added 11:10 - Mar 2
That's probably next season then :(
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TimmyH added 11:33 - Mar 2
Going to be a close game, we are far better defensively now so no turning over at home. I'll plump for a draw.
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RetroBlue added 11:40 - Mar 2
The key thing os MM is making us difficult to beat (with the players he has at his disposal).

THE AIM ? Survival for this season.

THE STYLE of this strategy? To quote MM .."it may not be pretty". It isnt.

OUR ROLE? So do we as fans blub about the style and stand muted in the stands , or get behind this team that become hard to beat, and a make a bloody noise to lift the roof off the stands and REALLY get behind the lads??

We need to do our bit NOW - and do it at EVERY HOME GAME !
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Michael11 added 12:27 - Mar 2
Couldn't agree more with Mick. Still think we need to go for it more against teams like Huddersfield though else we're going to be in a real fight if we're just playing for draws like we clearly did last saturday! Nothing to lose today, would be nice to see us just go for a win!
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h32 added 18:20 - Mar 2
Sound words and thinking from MM - but that IS the man - he knows his stuf.

SURVIVAL - has to be the ONLY objective for the rest of the season.
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