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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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Mark added 18:05 - Mar 15
I agree the players do their best and they probably all like Mick and Terry. However, do the players really agree with playing 7 defensive players against Wolves and Barnsley?

poldark added 18:21 - Mar 15
How much does McCarthy pay his players to say they love him or does he guarantee him a game oh no he is already guaranteed McCarthy out

Kuqicoo added 18:34 - Mar 15
Wish players would stop talking and just play.

We are fickle are we? I've been very patient tbh, and have watched some truly awful football in the last 2 seasons.

And we are punching above our weight too? Maybe financially that's true but I really hope that doesn't mean it's too much to expect some decent watchable football? It's been on the whole dire. Aimless hoofing and players not comfortable with the ball. A team so slow when attacking its painful. It's been like that on (mostly) and off for too long now.

I'm a very patient person, and I don't personally dislike MM. Im grateful for what he achieved the first 2 seasons. But my patience has run out. If that makes me fickle fine. But I just can't bear to watch the negative, tedious game we play. It makes me sad quite honestly.

I used to love going. Now it's more of a chore, knowing I'll be lucky to see a shot on target. I can't enjoy that.

Something has got to change.

jas0999 added 18:40 - Mar 15
Betrays interview is going to do little to sell season tickets.

poldark added 18:44 - Mar 15
Swin98 s back defending the indefensible come on say why you are in support of super mick

surgery added 18:54 - Mar 15
Shut up you fool nobody with any sense agrees with you

Keaneish added 19:17 - Mar 15
You seem to have conveniently forgotten Tuesday 17th January 2017 Christophe.
I never will.

TimmyH added 20:27 - Mar 15
Personally feel Ipswich supporters are tolerant but remember McCarthy saying it's a results business some while ago (rather than entertainment or style) - so what happens if you get neither results or entertainment as per this season? can't live on what you did a couple of seasons ago, what club is managed on that ethos? a majority of other Championship clubs with genuine ambition Mick would have been out on his ear.

Global_Blue added 22:09 - Mar 15
"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..." etc.

I may be reading this wrong, but that doesn't sound like a ringing endorsement of the management to me, more like a question dodged.

shakytown added 02:39 - Mar 16
The players have to be behind him in public as most would not even get a game at any other club.

battyblue added 06:07 - Mar 16
Just one word Bo-locks

battyblue added 06:18 - Mar 16
The majority think Mick is great do they.....not according to the polls conducted they don't its more like 75% want him out ...Mick out.

woohoo added 08:18 - Mar 16
My view is that SOME of the players are giving 100% and, quite clearly, some are not.

And if SOME of the players are giving 100% and what we are seeing is the best that they can do, then they should not be at our club.

And no club has ever allowed a player to speak to the press and say anything but 'we are backing the boss' - it's just the default statement up until the day the boss is sacked.

CalmoreBlue added 09:17 - Mar 16
Icing on the cake??
What and finish this season around 16th?
What high standards we are aiming for now.

Surco72 added 09:30 - Mar 16
Any player that backs MM's 8 defensive players in a team selection , Skuse/ Douglas partnership for two seasons , Keiffer Moore being brought on ahead of the likes of Pitman / Sears , being played out of position , being embarrassed by non league live on TV etc etc is talking nonsense or really lacks any personal ambition .

Penguinblue added 10:19 - Mar 16
I think any player who publicly backs McCarthy given his tactics, contradictions, arrogance, general mismanagement and down right nonsense talk, is either obliged by the Club to to so, insecure, desperate to please, misguided, or a brown noser. Or of course it could be genuine - which is very worrying.

McCarthy OUT

Bluetone added 12:57 - Mar 16
The 32-year-old Scot was instructed to say “We go out there every week and we play for him"

SE1blue added 13:07 - Mar 16
Player all behind boss...

Is that the teamsheet for Saturday? Ten at the back lumping the ball up to McCarthy?

Could work.

Seasider added 17:28 - Mar 16
Think Christophe Berra is a good no nonsense centre half,who is good in the air ;but not a ball playing defender like Webster.

You need one player in the side like that,but not as many that have played for Ipswich first team since McCarthy took over 4 and 1/3rd years ago.

Think the Scot has been a good servant to Ipswich;but I doubt if this International will be with us next season.

Think he is wrong thinking that a majority are still behind his Manager,which will be born out by the season ticket renewals if the Dino stays.

Bert added 23:03 - Mar 16
I have not seen anything on or off the field that makes me think Berra is saying anything other than what is probably true. That does not mean MM is the right person to stay around. Unless we witness protests in their thousands it is probably the case that MM has more popular support than some on here think hence Evans is unsure what to do until season ticket sales go down hill.

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