McCarthy: Key Men Back to Their Best
Saturday, 21st Nov 2015 06:00
Town boss Mick McCarthy says it’s no coincidence that the Blues’ return to form has coincided with some of their key men getting back to the top of their game.
Striker Daryl Murphy ended his goal drought in style by netting a hat-trick at Rotherham in Town’s last game, while Christophe Berra, who faces his old club Wolves today, has also been back at his best in recent matches.
“The thing is that they’re not robots, are they?” McCarthy said. “You can’t just switch them on and switch them off, they will have ups and downs and dips in form.
“They’ll have some great times, they’ve have some just regular times and some mediocre times.
“I do think even before Daryl got his goals he’d got back to it. And Christophe, maybe as a backline we weren’t defending as well because we conceded so many goals. But he’s certainly been excellent over the last few weeks.”
Despite steamrolling Rotherham at the New York Stadium, McCarthy says it would be foolish to expect the same thing to happen again today against his former side Wolves.
“It’s a different game against a team which is doing better than the team we played against last,” he said.
“I think if our fans analyse things the way we analyse things, it would probably be wrong to think we’re going to come out and run all over the top of a very good Wolves side.
“And the way the season has gone so far it would be even sillier still to think that. We will have to play very, very well to beat them and we’ll have to be totally committed to beat them and work as hard as we have over the last few weeks.
“If we don’t, then that’s what the league is about, you get done. We don’t think we’re just going to turn up and do it, that’s impossible.”
Does he see similarities in the progress he made during his time at Wolves and now at Portman Road?
“I never look for any, I’m tend not to look back, my eyes are focused forward. I’m happy enough the way things are just going here.”
He says he was happy at Wolves, as he was in all his previous management jobs and now at Town: “I loved my time at Sunderland, I had three great years there, and the Republic of Ireland was pretty good for me.
“I’ve not been any happier than I am here or enjoying it more than I am here, except that I had a bit more success at Wolves and Sunderland and with Ireland. But in terms of being settled and happy and enjoying a job, no more.
“It’s the same with playing, I think it’s slightly derogatory towards other people to say ‘That was the happiest time of my career’.”
Reflecting on Reading boss Steve Clarke’s on-off move to Fulham earlier in the week, he added: “I just wonder what reception I’d get if I’d been to speak to somebody else. I think if you come back and you win all the games nobody’s bothered, if you come back and get beat it’s that that makes the difference.
“I thought for all intents and purposes he’d got it and Nigel Pearson had got the Reading job. None of them have got a manager yet, have they? Brentford haven’t, QPR haven’t, Fulham haven’t. I don’t know, just strange.”
While those clubs are in a state of flux, Portman Road is very much more settled, despite the disappointing run prior to the back-to-back victories over Bolton and Rotherham.
“There’s never been any instability,” McCarthy added. “We had a difficult time and we weren’t winning games, but we weren’t getting slapped around the place.
“We had good performances, to be honest, even without winning and then we had two really good results. It’s made the place a lot brighter.”
Photo: Action Images
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