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McCarthy: Players Deserve Praise for Staying in Hunt Despite Loss of Key Men
Saturday, 13th Feb 2016 06:00

Town boss Mick McCarthy believes his players deserve praise for staying firmly in the play-off hunt despite having lost key men for long periods of the season. The Blues go into today's game at Bristol City seventh, two points behind Sheffield Wednesday in the final play-off place.

Ryan Fraser is facing six to eight weeks out with a hamstring injury having previously been out for almost two months with a knee problem, David McGoldrick has been sidelined since mid-December, also with a hamstring injury having had previous problems this year and in previous seasons, and Teddy Bishop is yet to make a senior appearance during 2015/16 due to a number of injuries.

In addition, linchpin midfielder Cole Skuse is out for four to six weeks with a toe injury and Giles Coke - a potential replacement for the Bristolian - has joined him on the sidelines with a knee problem which will keep him out for a month.

“I think it’s a testament to how they all are, the shift that they put in every week,” McCarthy said.

“We’re not the best team in the league but, boy, they don’t half put a shift in every week and work hard.

“I just watched Birmingham play against Bristol City and I’m thinking teams when they’re playing us they know what’s coming.

“Bristol City murdered them for 45 minutes, I know they were away, but I think that was nothing like the Birmingham performance we played against.

“I admire our lads, they just keep getting on with it and we’re still focused on getting back in the top six irrespective of everything else that’s going on.”

Reflecting further on the injury situation, McCarthy added: “Everybody gets them. But they are big players for us. We’ve lost Didzy a couple of times now and it’s cost us in the end.

“He came back towards the end of last season, but he’s got such good quality and so has Bish and Ryan and Skusey, those four they would be regulars in the team if they were all fit.”

Following Derby head coach Paul Clement’s exit earlier in the week there was talk that the Rams’ squad had grown too large and unwieldy and McCarthy says he prefers not to have too many players with some inevitably left kicking their heels.

“In fairness, I’ve always worked with about 18 players, 20 players and then we’ve supplemented it with youngsters,” he added.

“We still do with Josh Emmanuel, with Myles Kenlock, with Adam McDonnell, they come into the squad and I prefer it that way.

“I don’t like to leave players sitting in the stand. If we’re travelling away and we’ve got 24 I don’t like sitting the first-team players who can’t be involved up in the stand because it’s a bit monotonous doing the travelling if you’re not playing and it’s a bit soul-destroying if you’re sat up with the opposition and you’re watching the game.

“But on the other side of that, if we have got that many players I don’t like leaving them at home either because on the Saturday when the team’s gone on Friday afternoon and you’ve waved them bye-bye it seems a long way before you can get a game.

“But in a strange way having that small, compact squad where you can hang your hat on every one of them - 18 players, two keepers - it’s a good way to have it.”

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prebbs007 added 07:13 - Feb 13
Trying again to justify our no transfer fee policy. It doesn't wash. No investment no ambition no real quality and injuries biting us on the arse now !!! You got one thing right though ..... "We’re not the best team in the league" ..... Not even close !!!!

muccletonjoe added 07:51 - Feb 13
It is a pretty horrendous list of injuries, exasperated by the lack of first team funding, if the lads we have left can keep us in the hunt, I will be the first one putting my hands together.

trulyblue added 07:59 - Feb 13
Why do people continually abuse McCarthy for 'his' transfer policy ? Are you really that blinkered ?

kesblue added 08:08 - Feb 13
I don't think its mm people are abusing . We all know his hands are clearly tied and what the problem is.

sidtheswan added 08:13 - Feb 13
MM doesn't get strength in depth so there must be an issue . He's brought in countless wingers some who never played and forgets about other areas . Yes he's signed some good players but he's signed just as many poor ones who won't challenge for a starting place leaving us short which is highlighted today through injury and suspension. He manages his way or no way and isn't open to new ideas. It is noticeable how little criticism he got last year which has subsequently increased and if we fail to get promoted this year it will just get worse and worse .

Jimmy86 added 08:43 - Feb 13
Kesblue, wouldn't be so sure now. Ian Milne has always advocated transfer policy and player recruitment is down to Mick. I believe there is money available, all be it not a massive amount, but it's Mick who's chosen not to spend it. If he gets us into the top 6 again on a shoestring his stock will rise, if we don't reach the top 6 he will say it's because we did it on no money. If Mick signs players that cost fees that then brings pressure on him, top 6 would then not just be a bonus or a target, it would be a minimum requirement.

sotd78 added 08:45 - Feb 13
All this claptrap 18 player stuff would be fine if we genuinely had a proper balanced team with real right back, better keepers, and four top level strikers...18 top drawer players. Then of course we would be top and then we could say how unlucky we are with injuries. But we aren't top and we aren't capable now of staying even top six. As for filling in with the youngsters....well if that's the alternative then let's play them and not loan them out to then borrow other clubs cast offs. This lets try to make a silk purse is nonsense.

geminimustang added 08:48 - Feb 13
If we don't get promoted this season,MM has to go? Laughable! ITFC will be fighting relegation without MM & TC.Only the people inside the club know if funds are available for transfers on not.However,from joining a club that was heading for obscurity,MM & TC have made steady progress and it's a reflection of that,that the expectations of some people are ludicrously high.Fighting for a top six place is exciting,fighting relegation isn't.Ask Wolves if they made a mistake getting rid of MM?Have Sunderland won the league since MM got sacked?Keep the faith as the play-off beckons!!

Currie10 added 08:48 - Feb 13
I along with the SW supporters club will be meeting a certain Mr Ian Milne in around three hours time - I look forward to asking him a few questions.

I hope others aren't shy in voicing what they feel as often with meetings like this people don't say what we do on the stands. It's an opportunity to ask a few probably questions today and perhaps make a certain Milne a little uncomfortable, in the nicest way possible.


grumpyblue1966 added 09:04 - Feb 13
I think that m.m should resign if we fail to get in top 6 he has plenty of time to get us up.

jas0999 added 09:07 - Feb 13
Agreed. It's remarkable where we are in the league considering the division one like budget provided by Evans. Mick and the lads deserve credit. But there is only so far this narrow minded unambitious transfer policy will take us. We don't need to spend like some, but a modest investment for the right players is definitely required. We are back in a market where clubs pay fees and with FFP relaxed, we should be too.

WorcesterBlue added 09:24 - Feb 13
And by implication Mick thinks he deserves praise for this too. He may be right. But the problem is ITFC isn't a gentleman's club for Mick to surround himself with a tight knit group of players buying in to his somewhat limited but undoubtedly hard working and loyal philosophy. We are are club with customers (fans) who pay to watch a club they love and it is his obligation as manager to strive for the best including developing players and bringing in the best we can not obsess about players in his own image who will 'fit in'. Screw plucky Ipswich let's build around the quality we've got, work our arses off to secure the best young talent from wherever it is and play some football!

BossMan added 09:41 - Feb 13
@jas I'm no fan of Evans and his dubious motives for buying Ipswich but he isn't responsible for player recruitment or the rubbish dished up at Portman Road most weeks. When we're in the top 6 the Mick supporters all seem to praise him but when we're not its all the fault of Evans. I don't get it. Mick is in charge of first team affairs and I think you have become too blinkered against Evans as it seems perfectly clear that it was Micks decision not to recruit in January so why not blame him rather than Evans ?

BossMan added 09:41 - Feb 13
@jas I'm no fan of Evans and his dubious motives for buying Ipswich but he isn't responsible for player recruitment or the rubbish dished up at Portman Road most weeks. When we're in the top 6 the Mick supporters all seem to praise him but when we're not its all the fault of Evans. I don't get it. Mick is in charge of first team affairs and I think you have become too blinkered against Evans as it seems perfectly clear that it was Micks decision not to recruit in January so why not blame him rather than Evans ?

blueblood66 added 10:12 - Feb 13
So those who think MM actually has money to spend, how much do you think? £200k, £500k, £1m?
Come on give us your insight. So many baseless comments griping at the fella, who has made our club competitive after years of utter dross in mid table. Take a look at yourselves.

billlm added 10:53 - Feb 13
Bs all other teams have long term casualties in a season were no different in hindsight just bad management not to prepare, these days players being athletes doesn't take much for an injury, to be taken seriously in the championship you need a bigger squad.

Mark added 11:01 - Feb 13
I agree with Mick, remarkable that we are where we are with so little money spent. Also, Mick has not had quality youngsters coming through from the academy capable of challenging for the first team.

It's right to be cautious with SPENDING but I wish we could have INVESTED a bit more. By that I mean in young players whose value could appreciate. If we buy the right £500K player from League 1, he could be worth £10M in a couple of years due to crazy Premier League money. Also if we do make it up that's, what, £100M to the bottom Premier League team next season?

Kikapu added 11:41 - Feb 13
blueblood66, well said. Haven't heard any responses to your post yet, mind you. Think on this. I don't believe MM is so lacking in ambition that he would sign a new contract if he wasn't fully behind the plan that Evans has laid out, it's just that he (they) aren't sharing it (the plan) with the rest of us.

Keaneish added 13:03 - Feb 13
That's because it's a rhetorical question Kikapu.

Blueblood - How is the criticism baseless exactly?
Our small squad is depleted by injury, no-one is playing at full potential, our performances have been shocking, our form is faltering, the team selection policy is questionable, discontent players are leaving, no youth players get a sniff and despite being told there is cash to strengthen, be that by whatever means, we're told that everything is rosy. It's not, which provokes justified criticism...

Seasider added 13:38 - Feb 13
Good luck Currie10.Having attended quite a few and shareholders meetings;find them a bit like mutual appreciation societies.MrMilne ok but if you ever ask McCarthy a hostile question you get short shrift.Suspect that if it was one to one without audience he would tell you to foxtrot Oscar.

PJewellisaGod added 13:41 - Feb 13
It is remarkable that we are challenging. MM has spent VERY little money since taking over and has got virtually our entire squad in on frees, youngsters or loans. I think I am right in saying that the only players who have cost actual money are Knudsen, McDonnell, Doherty, Connolly, Malarcyk and Sears. And even then that's probably a combined transfer spending of about 600,000 since MM's been here.

But academy products, frees and loans can only get you so far. And the frees in particular have been hit and miss.

marco007 added 15:04 - Feb 13
Quality beats quantity, however when you lack in the former and the latter than we have a problem !

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