McCarthy: Underachievers Now Showing Their Premier Class
Saturday, 16th Mar 2013 06:01
Manager Mick McCarthy believes today’s opponents Bolton Wanderers had underachieved until their recent run, which has seen them rise from 20th to eighth in the Championship in the space in eight games, including victories in each of their last five.
McCarthy says the Lancastrians have now hit form and are a decent team: “I’d say [they’d underachieved], but they’re the ones who seem to have copped on to it at the moment. Whatever it is, whether it’s one result which has set them off.
“Wolves still haven’t, Blackburn have been hit and miss, they lost the chance to get to the FA Cup semi-final. Bolton, that’s a good side.”
He believes that his opposing number Dougie Freedman has as recognisable squad as anyone in the division: “I was saying today you could probably name the team – Sam Ricketts, Marcos Alonso, Zat Knight, Craig Dawson, Darren Pratley, David Ngog.
“Pratley and Jay Spearing are both Premier League players. Chung-Yong Lee and Chris Eagles, Premier League wingers, that’s where they’ve been. Likewise Kevin Davies and Ngog.
“It’s not every Championship team that people can readily name. [I don’t know what] happened when Dougie went in, maybe he was trying to bed in another philosophy because he played four with two sitters and Owen Garvan in behind three of them [up front] at Palace and was successful.
“Maybe he didn’t have the players. He’s playing 4-4-2 now and they’re very solid. We just watched the DVD and they are working their socks off.
“And maybe that’s the difference. If you’ve got good players who are prepared to work hard, you end up with a good team.”
Town have done well when coming up against a couple of form teams this season, Millwall had been unbeaten in 13 games before losing 3-0 at Portman Road in December, while Nottingham Forest had lost just once in 10 before visiting Suffolk and being defeated 3-1 in November.
“We hope it’s going to strike again,” McCarthy said. “They’re a good team. I think that’s a really solid team in every single position, certainly for this league.
“But Cardiff were miles in front of us, Nottingham Forest had their good run and when we had 11 players on the pitch at the City Ground it looked like we’d beat them. With 10 men they never looked like they’d beat us.
“Every game is different. They might come here and play awful and we might beat them and they’ll wonder where the hell that came from.
“They might be brilliant, they might beat us. You don’t know, something in a game can change it and the whole course of the game changes. But we’re planning to beat them, of course we are.”
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