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McCarthy Hits 25-Year Management Milestone
Saturday, 18th Mar 2017 06:00

Town boss Mick McCarthy celebrates his 25th anniversary as a manager today, having been appointed at Millwall on March 18th 1992, and says he has no plans to retire quite yet.

McCarthy’s first game in charge came three days into his management career at the Den.

“Port Vale and we beat them 1-0," he quickly recalled. "I know you’ll look it up as soon as you get home!”

Had he always aspired to be a manager? “I hadn’t always wanted to be but when I went to France [where he played for Lyon] and I started to get into my 30s I started thinking more about it, what I wanted to do.

“And I came back from France pretty much because I didn’t want to be out of sight, out of mind.

“I wasn’t playing, I’d been injured, so I came back and played for Millwall for the 10 games before the World Cup in 1990.

“That was a conscious decision to come back and make sure I was around and take my badges when I came back, and that’s what I did. But I got the manager’s job before I’d done my badges.”

McCarthy, then only 33, admits he was surprised to be offered the job by Lions chairman Reg Burr.

“Bruce Rioch had it and Bruce was a recognised manager, a good coach,” he reflected. “What was there left? Ten games to go?

“I’d heard whispers. I’d been asked to go and see Mr Burr and I went up on the Wednesday, if my memory serves me right, and there were rumours that Bruce was going and I was going to be offered the job.

“Taff [current Town scout Ian Evans, then a coach at Millwall] said to me ‘Do they owe you any money?’ and I said ‘They do, they owe me a signing-on fee’. He said ‘They might want to pay you up!’. That sort of changed my thoughts going up a little bit, I went up with mixed emotions.

“But anyway, thankfully I was offered the job, I had 10 games. What did we do? We won four, drew three, lost three or something and stayed in the league because we could have gone down at the time.

“I have to be honest, it was probably as much to do with Taff’s help as my own help. And the rest is history, as they say.”

Millwall finished 15th in the old Second Division that season as Town won the title under John Lyall. What advice would McCarthy, now with 25 years' experience behind him, give his 33-year-old self?

“Get a really good assistant and really good staff. Tom Walley was there, he was great. He was the youth team coach but he was just great to have around.

“Taff was brilliant, just fantastic and didn’t want my job. That’s another thing, a good assistant that wants to assist you and make the team better, help you become better but not want to be in your chair.

“Ron Howard, the chief scout, Ian McNeill. I had really good staff that I hadn’t picked but they were just really good guys, they helped me along in those first 10 games because if it had gone wrong I could have been out and I’d have been out of the club and never recovered. So, choose your assistant wisely.”

He added: “I’ve got TC [Terry Connor] now, I couldn’t ask for anybody better. The biggest compliment I can give him is that I didn’t see where the join was with Taff and he’s just been great.

“And recruitment with players, of course, is vital. Is it easier when you’ve got a lot of money? Well, a lot of people have made some really big blunders on a lot of money and I’ve had some really good ‘uns for nothing and I’ve had some bad ‘uns for nothing.”

There are obvious highlights from his 25 years: “Winning the league at Sunderland and Wolves. The Ireland games were great but certainly the World Cup in 2002 was fabulous.”

McCarthy admits this this season has been one of the toughest of his quarter century: “It has. As a manager and as a coach, whatever you want to be called, head coach or manager, when you’re at a club you actually like to get the support of people.

“And pretty much I’ve had that nailed-on for four years. The last six months that’s not been the case so much from a section of the fans.

“But I get it as well and I’m not complaining about it. They want to come and watch better football and see better results.

“But I’ve had unwavering, 100 per cent support from [owner] Marcus [Evans] to everybody in the club, who have been fabulous. That means a lot, let me tell you.”

Despite having hit the 25-year milestone and with today’s game at Cardiff his 912th as a boss he says he has no intention of bringing his career to an end, despite having said that he will consider his Town future in the summer.

“No, I’ve no thoughts of about retiring, I hope that doesn’t disappoint you!” he joked.

“I’ll have better seasons than this whether it’s here or somewhere else. And you always want better seasons. I don’t want to be firefighting, putting fires out with fans and everything else, I want to be successful.

“I’ve had probably more of that than I have the other stuff, so I don’t want to be getting to 58 and be, like I said, putting fires out everywhere. I’d like to have another few more successful seasons.”

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franco added 06:13 - Mar 18
Just go now you mug !!!

tallguy6767 added 06:15 - Mar 18
As if we haven't heard enough about " I love me who do you love "McCarthy this week ! Now this love in about how long hes been managing. Too bloody long at this club I can tell you !!!

Penguinblue added 06:44 - Mar 18
I fell rotten not wanting to congratulate him and wish him well, maybe I would if he were anywhere but Ipswich Town.
I cannot stand his arrogance, contradictions (and foul moth - take note Mr Milne who claims to be appealing to kids) and over inflated opinion of himself, before we even start to consider his horrendous, boring, negative football brand which he has tarnished our club with.
McCarthy (or the great journalist behind the story) also omits to say that everywhere he has been, with the possible exception of Millwall, they could not wait to see the back of him.

McCarthy OUT

SouperJim added 07:12 - Mar 18
No class from some Town fans. Whatever your thoughts on our current plight, you have to respect what Mick has achieved as a manager in his 25 years. Is it really necessary to be so negative on every news story?

geminimustang added 07:15 - Mar 18
I've taken an interest in MM from when he was at Sunderland,Wolves & now ITFC.He was in a very bad patch at Sunderland and they wanted rid.Can't say they've set the world alight since.Wolves was similar to ITFC,there was a section of fans,very vocal who wanted rid but the vast majority wanted him to stay.It's fair to say the owner wanted out but needed the club to be successful to sell and a relegation fight was on.Again,they've not done great since.I like the straight talking MM but without funds,ITFC are a low table club and have overperformed for a few seasons.The end of the season will be interesting because i'm now sure he'll leave.

ChestnutSe added 07:42 - Mar 18
Robson wasn't so great to start with and some fans wanted him out.

Congratulations to MM, that's an amazing milestone in an industry with such short term thinking. I guess it's difficult to achieve that unless you have something about you

Good luck today lads

jas0999 added 07:57 - Mar 18
I'm sorry, but I hope he isn't at ITFC for too much longer. Let's hope we secure safety and he and Evans part company. As always I hope my team wins today. But it won't be a time for celebration as the football club is in one hell of a mess.

smellmycheese added 08:16 - Mar 18
25 years of darkening everybody's day.

SpiritOfJohn added 08:20 - Mar 18
Well done Mick! It is only fair to acknowledge that he has made the most of the talents God gave him.
"Millwall finished 15th in the old Second Division that season as Town won the title under John Lyall" - if only we could bring back the Lyall style.

cat added 08:59 - Mar 18
25 years in football management is a great achievement, so credit where credits due. After the first couple of seasons he would have left with a decent LEGACY at the club, but for NUMEROUS reasons this has now gone down the PAN, and that DINO has been well and truly of your very own making!

Mark added 09:00 - Mar 18
Congratulations Mick, overall a successful 25 years and lots to be proud of. Maybe a new challenge in the summer would be best for you and ITFC however?

Dissboyitfc added 09:06 - Mar 18
Chestnutse... its an insult to compare MM with the great Sir Bobby Robson, great is something MM will never be. Bobby Robson's team went onto the pitch looking to win. MM will try to celebrate today with another backs to the wall defensive display hoping that we steal a draw.

After 25 years he should realise that football is about entertaining the fans and going for victory, please dont quote lack of funds , we dont even go for wins in cup games against lower league/ non league teams.

He is at best an average manager who has over achieved with a brand of football that put simply is painful to watch.

Its a milestone to reach 25 years nothing else, but its something that has rewarded him well, no need for congratulations. there are many people who reach 25 years doing the same job with very little financial gain. At any other club or in any other performance related industry he would be gone!

I am glad as a club we give managers time, you only have to see how many managers have been relieved of their positions. MM has had his time! I do not wish him any harm nor do i harbour bad feelings towards him.

MM OUT!!!!!

fergalsharkey added 09:16 - Mar 18
25 years aNd his biggest achievment is a couple of dodgy promotions and a mediocre world cup.
Woooow f****n woooooow.

bluey123 added 09:19 - Mar 18
You couldn't make it up people on this site saying there are positives from this moron to say a few people are against him just look at the terraces and this site listen to radio Suffolk I can assure you it is not a few and to compare this idiot with Sir Bobby you should hold your head in shame

Wark_On added 09:23 - Mar 18
I think it's respectful to mark the milestone of 25 years of football management. As supporters of ITFC we are entitled to take issue with this season, however to spend a quarter of a century in the upper reaches of your chosen profession is an achievement. No one can blag a career for that long.

ChestnutSe added 09:44 - Mar 18
Some people are very sad. Fortunately the majority are a bit more balanced and fair minded.

Sam added 10:00 - Mar 18
Well done Mick. Your a great man but to be honest it would be best if you left in the summer although I will be sad because I've never experienced a different manager. MM out, Cowley brothers in.
Sam[age ten].

Northseablue added 10:25 - Mar 18
No ones happy with this season but beware of what you wish for ,look at the league table of money spent on transfers and MM walks on water

Swn98 added 10:58 - Mar 18
I agree Fantastic achievement to last 25 years as a manager in an industry so results driven as Football.
To compare the one and only sir Bobby and MM is not possible Sir Bobby had a team full of good class international players MM has got a team of average players that overperformed for three years and been shown up for what they are this year.
He does an impossible job well with the the limited cash he is given a pity whoever takes over im afraid as a we are staring into the abyss!

martin587 added 12:14 - Mar 18
It's an achievement holding a job down for 25 years,let alone in football management,but to compare his achievements to the Great Sir Bobby Robson leaves a lot to be desired.
If you just consider what he has done at Ipswich it is very little apart from reaching the play offs in his second season.
The club is now in a dire situation one which we don't deserve,but remember it is not all down to MM.The owner has a lot to answer for as well.
Just arrived in Cardiff,so looking forward to the match and just hope we put out an attacking team.🤔🤔.COYB.

Dissboyitfc added 12:34 - Mar 18
SWn98 please explain why in four years Has mm not once provided real entertaining football match?
Its not down to funds, look at what Joe Royal gaves us, on less i might add. He doesnt ever go for it even against lower level opposition!!

You say you cant compare now to Sir Bobby and no you cant! sir Bobby Gave the youngsters a chance , the careers of several ipswich legends would certainly be different if not non existent had MM been in charge back then and we certainly would not have had the rich history we still talk about!
A selection of Itfc legends who came through the yourh system and cost nothing but were playing for town most in their teens, Burley Butcher Mills Beatie Gates Osbourne Osman Wark Dozell None of these players Cost . Any youngsters we have now dont get a look in! McCarthy ruins players, examples Bishop What about Emanuel and Andre DozzelL MM tells us players like Emanuel isnt fit enough to play 2 games a week. I am glad Robson Gave the youths a chance and i must add It was a time when pitches were atrocious playing services but our teams still passed the ball. MM saved us from relegation, we all know that, but now there is not one argument for him still being here, if there is i want to hear it! Dont say lack of funds as i have just explained why!

Over to the MM lovers!

Dissboyitfc added 12:41 - Mar 18
Martin587 ... he has been in football management for 25 years not the same as being the same job for 25 years! In that time he has been sacked as well! Hopefully he will be rlieved of his duties here as well!

Hopefully Martin587 you will see an entertaining attacking game of football with us on the right end.

havinit69 added 12:53 - Mar 18
The big issue here is the MM still plays the game the same way he did 25 years ago! A young hungry manager next please.

Congrats on 25 years to MM though.

Beattiesballbag added 13:19 - Mar 18

Has he gone yet!

MicksZzzTactics added 13:27 - Mar 18
Basically I agree with other posters that: 25 years in football managements indeed a great achievement -- looking at it in this specific case from a pure LONGEVITY perspective mind you! -- so with that imho very important foot-note-like thingie attached :-) , by all means let us all give the otherwise beleaguered Dino credit where credit is due! Cheers!

HOWEVER, and well ehhhh just mostly since my nephew happened to challenge me to an, eventually lopsided! lol, game of EA Sports "Madden NFL 17" on his awesome Playstation last night .... I think I'll just respond to the actual content! of this here TWTD anniversary article -- as well as the grossly self-praising contents of a few other interview articles with MM running this week -- with a couple of imho very fitting :-) quotes from a TRUE legendary sports figure, namely John Madden!

(Mr. Madden is of course not only a well-deserved member of the NFL 'Hall of Fame' in recognition of his truly superb coaching career, which spanned 32 years (as a head-coach 1969-1991) and beside including 4 Super Bowl wins also stand out due to a remarkable winning % incl. playoff games which still ranks second in league history to this day!!! ... also was a well-known colorful expert-commentator for various NFL telecasts after retiring from coaching, and lastly is also widely known for the active long-running "Madden NFL" video game series which he has endorsed and fronted since way back in 1988!)

So ehhhh please! just very strongly heed the words of wisdom within these 2 above quotes, in the future, "dear" anniversarial Mr. McCarthy, please!!!

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