Berra: Players All Behind Boss
Wednesday, 15th Mar 2017 18:00
Town players remain 100 per cent behind beleaguered boss Mick McCarthy, even if a growing number of fans believe there should be a change of manager in the summer, according to defender Christophe Berra.
The 32-year-old Scot said: “We go out there every week and we play for him. If we wanted to let the manager down, first and foremost we’d be letting the club down and letting ourselves down.
“We’re all professionals and when we cross the white line we all have our own pride and want to do well.
“We don’t go out there wanting to get beaten and put in a bad performance. That’s not us – we’ve got a lot of good characters and a lot of people who scrutinise themselves very strongly.
“A lot of us are our own biggest critics and if we weren’t we wouldn’t have played at the level we have for the past five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 years. There are some boys who are just starting their careers.”
McCarthy, whose contract expires in 2018 and includes a two-year option, has said he will consider his position in the summer. Asked if he felt the players had let him down during the current campaign, Berra replied: “Obviously, if we had performed well in every game we wouldn’t be where we are. We’d be in the play-offs or at the top of the league.
“It’s the competitive nature and as a team or a club we take the flak together. In previous years we’ve punched above our weight and done well chasing the play-offs and this year we’ve not set standards as high as we have in the past.
“What comes with that is stick and media speculation, this and that, but that’s football for you.
“The manager has been in this situation many times before and he’s thick-skinned, just like the players are.
“It’s sport and that’s what your job is to do – to write up stories, and probably a lot of negative stories, just to sell papers. We’re in the spotlight and we’ve got to take the stick, and we’ve got to take it on the chin.”
Berra was signed for previous club Wolves by McCarthy and was there when the manager was sacked towards the end of the 2011/12 season, which failed to prevent them being relegated from the Premier League. What would he say to those Town fans who believe McCarthy’s time in charge at Portman Road should be ended?
“It doesn’t matter where you are, no matter what club you are at, fans have all got opinions and fans can be very fickle as well,” added Berra.
“It doesn’t matter if you are in the play-offs, there will be fans who don’t like the manager and some who love the manager.
“It’s the same here, there will be a majority of the fans here who like Mick McCarthy and there will be a lot who don’t like him.
“There will be a lot who like me and a lot who don’t. It’s part and parcel of sport and being in the limelight. That’s just the nature of the beast really.”
Berra has missed just one Championship game this season and has played a key role in the side’s eight-game unbeaten run that coincided with a switch to a 3-5-2 formation. He said: “We have been more solid and harder to beat, and we’ve not conceded as many goals.
“It has worked fine and we just need to get a couple of wins to put the icing on the cake really.
“I’ve played central, I’ve played on the left side, I’ve played with Chambo, I’ve played with Tommy and I’ve played with Webbo. That’s the way it is.
“They are all good players and luckily enough I’ve been playing week in, week out. I just need to keep my standards high and hopefully I can keep on doing that.
“Sometimes a lot of people say centre-backs don’t like being dragged out there one-on-one. It’s fine if you’re up against a guy but if you get turned it can be difficult, especially if it’s a tricky winger. But then again, that’s why your team-mates are around you, to help you and cover you.
“That’s what the job of being a defender is, to obviously win your battles, but also to cover each other and to help out the midfield as well and stuff like that.
"People are going to make mistakes and it’s about recovering from those mistakes and your team-mates helping you out.”
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