McCarthy: Trust Vital to Team's Success
Saturday, 16th May 2015 06:00
Boss Mick McCarthy says Town’s success this season has been based on his players trusting one another, something which he believes is a vital element in any team.
“Trust in your team-mates? It’s not something you go around telling them all the time but I would gauge that by my experiences playing,” he said.
“I played for Ireland with Kevin Moran for years and I trusted him all the time, loved playing alongside him.
“If the striker went past me he wasn’t likely to go past him and vice versa. You have almost like a second sense, you know where one another is, you look after each other’s backs.
“And that spreads through a team as well. I certainly had that when we played for Ireland and we had all that success.
“And I’ve had it at club level as well, at different times, and it’s here with these players now.
"They like one another first and foremost. They enjoy each another’s company and they put their trust in each other, on and off the pitch.
“It’s a huge thing, which means harmony in the dressing room. And if you’ve got that you’ve got a chance. If you’ve got a fractured dressing room, it doesn’t matter what players you’ve got, you’re going to have problems.
“And that’s from me to them and I’d like to think that’s reciprocated from them. I know they trust me.”
He added: “It’s not always the case, you know. You don’t want to be in the tunnel thinking ‘I’m not sure about him’, that would be a real problem. And there’s none of that [with this team], ever.
“You just get that mutual respect for what they can do and trust them for what they can do and not worrying what they can’t do because we’ve all got things we can’t do as well.”
As Town go into the biggest match of his Town career at Norwich City today, McCarthy hasn’t forgotten the importance of the 1-0 win the Blues achieved in his first game in charge at Birmingham in November 2012.
Loan striker DJ Campbell’s goal just before half-time saw the Blues start the climb away from the bottom of the table to 14th, having been five points from safety and seemingly destined for relegation. The following year they finished ninth and this season sixth.
“I still go back to Birmingham away, my first game,” he said when asked whether today’s game is the biggest of his time at Town.
“If I hadn’t have won that I might not be sat here doing this one, strangely enough. That was over two and a half years ago.
“But in terms of prize and prestige and everything else, this is without doubt the biggest game.”
He says that regardless of the result today or if the Blues make the final at Wembley - where Middlesbrough await, the Teessiders having beaten Brentford 5-1 on aggregate in the other semi-final - Town have made great progress this year and have enjoyed a terrific season.
“Sunday morning I might not feel like that [if we lose], I’ll be honest with you. Maybe when I’ve gone away and thought about it, if that’s the case, if those are the thoughts I’m having to have at some stage.
“I will, of course, think that. But I hope that’s not the case. And that would be the same if we get to the play-off final and don’t win it.
“There’s no happy ending to this except winning it now because if we lose on Saturday I’ll be absolutely sick and not very happy for quite a while.
“If we go to the play-off final and lose that I’ll be the same. There’s only one way to have a happy ending now and that’s for us to win it.”
How would he feel if the Blues got through today’s game and then won at Wembley? “If on 26th May I’m back in the Premier League with Ipswich Town, come and ask me and I’ll tell you what it means. Until that time I haven’t got a Scooby.
“I’d imagine I’d be pretty pleased, I’d imagine I’d have a smile on my face and I would imagine I’d have a hangover.
“Somebody said ‘Not from drinking, just from being involved’. No, mine will be from drinking.”
He says he has a lot of time for his opposite number Alex Neil: “I think he’s a really nice fella, I enjoyed his company after the game last Saturday and I enjoyed his comments and what he said and I can generally judge the person by that as much as my meeting them.
“He said 'I thought we played well, but hadn’t done enough to win’. I thought he talked a lot of common sense. We had a good chat afterwards and he’s a nice guy, a nice fella.
“I don’t any reason why I shouldn’t be friendly with him or a friend of his, none whatsoever. I’d prefer to have friends than enemies in the games, I might need a favour at some stage.”
Reflecting on last Saturday’s first leg he says he was pleased that the game was largely played in the right spirit, despite its importance and the intense derby atmosphere.
“I thought everybody had cool heads last week,” he said. “I thought it was a great game, it was played in a good spirit.
“There were a couple of niggly tackles but nothing nasty and I’d like to think that would be the case again on Saturday.
“We both desperately want to win but it’s not worth any nonsense for it, that’s for sure.”
Photo: Action Images
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