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McCarthy Surprised By East Anglian Derby Animosity
Saturday, 25th Feb 2017 06:00

Town boss Mick McCarthy admits he was surprised by the level of animosity between fans of the Blues and Norwich City when he first took over at Portman Road four and a half years ago having found both clubs friendly places when visiting with his previous sides.

“I’ve always been surprised actually because if you don’t play at Norwich or Ipswich you come to both clubs and you get really well received,” he said.

“They’re nice places to come to, except when Norwich and Ipswich play each other, they hate one another, and I’ve been surprised at that.”

He added: “I was surprised four and a bit years ago, the first year we played in it because a very lovely old lady expressed the usual wishes, ‘You better win against them... the scum’, she said.

“And I said ‘Wow! So, if we lose all the others and we beat them twice you’d be happy, would you?’. ‘We’ve got to beat them’.

“I couldn’t believe it was what I thought was a nice old lady that had said it to me. I was quite surprised at that. And then, of course, other people afterwards.

“I don’t know why I am surprised, I guess it’s just because whenever I’ve come here as a player or as a manager to both clubs it’s all very nice, it’s all very calm, our fans don’t give the same level of abuse out to the opposition fans as other clubs would, who will remain nameless, by the way, just in case.

“And I don’t think Norwich do to clubs in general, but they just do it to each other. You’ve got to hate somebody haven’t you, I suppose.”

He says derbies aren’t quite the same for managers as they are for a club’s fans: “When I played, I hated everybody. I wanted to beat everybody, and pretty much it hasn’t changed.

“So we’re going up to Norwich, I treat them pretty much the same but I guess it’s for fans who are here and support one and really hate the other one that’s what makes it that bit extra for me, for us, for the players, we’d like to have our fans smiling and singing and enjoying it because they’ve not had enough of that this season.”

McCarthy says he doesn’t need fans or Blues-supporting club staff to impress upon him what the derby means to them.

“I get that one, ‘You better win on Saturday!’, that gets my goat that, whoever we’re playing,” he said. “Because we always try and win on Saturday or Sunday or whenever the game might be.

“We’ve got brilliant people who work here, but also very respectful. They want us to win but they’re not going to come explaining to me what this derby means. I might get the hump slightly if that was the case.

“I’ve been in the game 900 games as a manager and nearly 600 as a player, when did I ever start wanting to lose, ever?”

McCarthy says he’s not one to try to step away from the passion of the derby once the game itself gets under way.

“Have you ever seen me on the touchline?” he added. “How often have you seen me distance myself from the passion or stood with arms folded or sat down and not been bothered? That just doesn’t happen.

“I seem to remember a picture of me from the last derby that we had that caused a few [comments], that was Wes Hoolahan.”

The Town boss, who was caught on camera swearing at the Irish international of whom he is a big fan, knows full well that the results of derbies mean a lot more to fans and he believes if the Blues play as they have in their last four matches they are capable of winning their first game against the Canaries in nearly eight years and their first at Carrow Road since February 2006.

“They do, I know they do and I’ve played in a lot and I’ve managed in a lot and I’m fully aware of it and I’m fully aware of the heightened senses," he said.

“We certainly want to be competitive and I try and look at the last games and think that if we play as well as that in this game then we’ve got a chance of winning.

“Rather than looking at what we can do in the Norwich game, just play like we’ve been playing, play as confidently as we’ve been playing and as aggressively and as competitively and we’ll be fine.”

Photo: TWTD

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The_Romford_Blue added 06:06 - Feb 25
Don't be surprised by it mick. We hate them. Really really hate them. Horrible dirty arragant scum.

We will be doing our bit Sunday. Win or lose, we will be singing at full time in that away end but know that a win would mean a lot more than just another game to us. Far more than 3 points.

As you said the other day, right the wrongs.

Come on Town!!!

trncbluearmy added 06:47 - Feb 25
I`m a ninety old lady
beat the fecking scum, show no mercy, don`t care how you do it, just Fecking win


DanLyles added 06:50 - Feb 25
Well Mick, if you continue to play Chambers at cb instead of rb; the young attacking wing backs; the more gifted Huws, Ward and 'Dave' rather than Skouglas in the engine room; Sears up front instead of out wide, then at least you give us a chance against the enemy. Us fans have longed for these changes and picking up points against the top six with these alterations proves we are evolving. Please don't revert to type!

Take the game to them and expose their vulnerable defence. The likes of Naismith, Pritchard, Hoolahan et al are obviously a threat but for me they all want to occupy the same areas. None of them are comfortable out wide and drift in to the centre, where we should have large numbers with a 3-5-2. Neill may be tempted with the raw talent and pace of the Murphy twins.


osborne added 07:01 - Feb 25
Nice old Lady
She's one of our own!

muccletonjoe added 07:17 - Feb 25
Their come uppance is long long overdue and it would be nice to insure another meeting next year when the tide may have turned completely

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 07:25 - Feb 25
You'd better win on Sunday, Mick!

Beattieisback added 07:43 - Feb 25
I have to admit I have never really hated them but just feel such pity for them. When you have never won a major trophy in your history, or produced England's 2 most successful managers, or been voted the best team in Europe, or produced a string of outstanding home grown future international players, or not known world wide respect and admiration as a football club etc etc (Need I go on !)

DidHisHelmetTurnBlue added 07:57 - Feb 25

Marcus added 08:01 - Feb 25
Give the old lady the keys to the town ;)

1RWR added 08:32 - Feb 25
New Years honours list for the old lady.........arise Lady 'hater of the scum'.
Bless her.

Dissboyitfc added 08:40 - Feb 25
Such a shame that MM's philosophy changed from his paying days when he wanted to beat everyone, that its about not losing. I really hope he sets up to win this one!!

A victory against them is well over due! Wipe some of their smugness away and give us something to smile about.

Blue_Again added 08:42 - Feb 25
It's just such a shame Ipswich as a place is such a s#%t hole as opposed to the vibrant university city of Norwich (scum)

strikalite added 08:51 - Feb 25
In other words he thinks we're all a bunch of polite farmers really innit, we are all a bit too nice, you go to a midland derby between say Wolves and West Brom or Brum v Villa and it's proper nasty...we just sing a few silly songs really in comparison..

Mick says you won't find him standing on the touchline with his arms folded??? That's his usual pose isn't it?

COYB's!!! We owe them, there isn't a better time!

pegasus added 09:06 - Feb 25
I've supported Ipswich Town, my home town's football club, since 1954. Every time Ipswich play, I want us to win. I particularly want us to be our neighbouring clubs, Norwich and Colchester. I want to see Ipswich and Norwich in the Premiership. I want to be in those two big crowds, and see that gate money going into Ipswich's coffers. It's certainly needed.

But I loathe the abuse that is appearing in the comments above, and elsewhere. It is contemptible.

A good friend took his young son to a derby at Carrow Road years ago. He was astounded at the foul language which was traded, and humiliated when Ipswich supporters were escorted back to the railway station by police. He never took his son to a football match again.

I'm writing this in Edinburgh. Scotland play Wales at Murrayfield today. Last night I was in a pub thronged with Welsh visitors, and Scots. There was banter. It will be the same in the city today. It will be bruising, even brutal, on the field. The partisan support will be phenomenal. After the match there will be handshakes, embraces, even, and the pubs will be full again.

I shall be in a pub, tomorrow, watching Ipswich play at Carrow Road. Don't get me wrong. I want Ipswich to win, and win well. C'mon You Blues

pegasus added 09:08 - Feb 25
Line 2. Typo. For 'be' read 'beat'!

osborne added 09:35 - Feb 25
You can't really compare rugby with football though. It was invented for blokes who were cr@p at football.

thundercat600 added 10:33 - Feb 25
Don't be surprised Mick, its nearly always been like this, shows the mentality of the so called supporters. These are two sets of supporters who passionately follow their respective team, as to why they take great joy and fulfilment in slagging each other off, only they know the answer to this question, but I don't think that they do. As to why rugby supporters are not like this, quite simple they go to enjoy the match and not to hurl insults at each other.

muccletonjoe added 10:47 - Feb 25
i work there the only thing vibrant about norwich is the drills they use to dig the roads up. cant move in the s@#t hole for road works.

bobwya added 11:36 - Feb 25
Pegasus - I have been supporting the town since 1952 and I agree with everything you say. Oh for the days when opposing fans could go in the same pub and exchange friendly banter and then go and enjoy the game as they do in rugby. Why has this hatred grown in all derbies - not just ours?

stonojnr added 11:58 - Feb 25
“How often have you seen me distance myself from the passion or stood with arms folded or sat down and not been bothered? " he has watched the Lincoln City FA cup replay game again right, right !!!!

Westy added 11:59 - Feb 25
Mick. It sounds like you're starting to the hang of this. The 40 miles only intensifies the rivalry - as people say, 40 miles and a World apart. It is not like Merseyside, Manchester or Sheffield, where a family's loyalties may be split between two teams. It really is taking on the neighbouring tribe. You may have the misfortune to work with them but there are no close friendships and a genuine mis-trust. A sub-division of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of East Anglia between the North-folk and the South-folk who wanted more autonomy from each other. Even going back to Pre-historic times Ipswich and the unmentionables were different tribes. Here endeth the lesson.

Westy added 12:26 - Feb 25
Pegasus, I have been to two international rugby matches in my life and on both occasions have had a disrespectful idiot somewhere behind me. The first, in the 1980's, he was high on drink and drugs and had a woman in tears with his abuse directed at her. The second, although not high on drugs was certainly drunk and equally abusive in his own way.

TimmyH added 12:49 - Feb 25
Micks head has obviously been buried in the sand over the last few years and in the play-offs, they'll be almost as much animosity towards you Mick if we lose comfortably.

Sadly we've played second fiddle to them by and large since the earlyish 90's (bar a few years) before that it was just one way traffic...and no doubts the pride of Anglia.

jas0999 added 13:12 - Feb 25
Let's be blunt. This season has been a complete disappointment. It's only February and the season is over. Unacceptable.

... Except ... There is just one game which means everything to the fans. Norwich. A defeat adds to the complete disappointment and undoes the hard work in the past four matches. A win on the other hand will go some way to making up for the wrongs of the season and may just get Mick back in the good books. A draw is a nothing result for both clubs.

Basically only a win will do! It's cup final day!!

BlueandTruesince82 added 13:43 - Feb 25
Sign Alex Mathie back up doube quick!

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