McCarthy and Evans Both Want Town to Be Competitive Going Forward
Thursday, 30th Mar 2017 16:06
Town boss Mick McCarthy says he spoke to owner Marcus Evans during the international break and that they are of the same mind in wanting the Blues to be competitive and not have another season like this one.
Speaking in January McCarthy said he would consider his position in the summer with fans having expressed their frustrations at a disappointing season which has seen the Blues drop to 17th only five points off the relegation places with only eight games to go.
Does McCarthy believe that announcement destabilised his squad? “Players will carry on, I wonder about the Leicester players. [Claudio Ranieri's departure] destabilised them, didn’t it?
“I don’t think so, not at all. I’ve got a year’s contract, as I’ve said before, but I’ve been speaking to Marcus and both of us are of the same frame of mind that if we can’t be competitive then it becomes tough. It’s a bit like, ‘What’s the point if you can’t be competitive?’.
“So I’ve been having that conversation with Marcus and he wants to be competitive. He sticks £5 million of his own money in every year anyway and I don’t know too many people that would want to keep doing that.
“And so let’s see what happens. Let’s see with the rest of the games, we’ve got to make sure we’ve got enough points and we stay in the league.
“Let’s see if we can finish positively and then both of us, myself and Marcus, will sit down and have a chat about it and see what we can do if we’re going to go forward for next season.”
Does he feel more positive or confident regarding the future having spoken to Evans? “I was never not confident about the future. The only way to be confident about the future is if we get results and points and we’re still in this league and we’re going forward.So that is really my concern.
“And we’ve not been having major chats, I’ve had phone call with him, a couple of calls and I like the fact that he feels exactly the same way.
“I think both of us are thinking ‘Well, if we can’t be competitive, what are we doing?’. And whatever competitive is at our level when there’s hundreds of millions being spent.
“He’s a very, very successful businessman. He doesn’t want to be ordinary in any shape or form and in my career as a player and a manager, I might not have been in the top echelons, but I’ve been in top two divisions most of my life, I’ve played international football, I’ve managed at a really good level. I don’t want to be ordinary either, I want to be better than what we’re doing now.”
That’s likely to take money, has Evans suggested that there might be more cash to spend in the summer?
“I think that’s for me and him to discuss,” McCarthy continued. “The basis of our discussion [has been] let’s make sure we’re still in [the Championship], he does not want to have another season like this, he wants to be better.
“So I guess it’s for me to put a proposal to him in terms of players and what it’s going to cost.
“But we don’t know that, nobody knows what it’s going to cost but if it’s something that we can do, he’ll be prepared, certainly, to help.”
He added: “It’s easy sat here, you guys [the media] are sat here, everybody else is sat there, ‘Put some money in!’. How much has he put in? A hundred million? Bought it, then £5 million a year. How long’s he had it? Ten years? There’s £50 million. Doesn’t seem to be taking much out of it.
“It’s easy for everybody else to say ‘You’ve got to put some money in’. And I remind everybody, how many people would actually enjoy doing it?
“And I guess if we were up in the top six he does enjoy that, that’s fine. But he wants to be putting his money in where he can see where we’ve got a chance of being successful.”
Is McCarthy more likely to stay with the Blues following those conversations? “Well, I never said I was going, did I? I said I’d talk to him and see what happens.
“I’ve told you, I do not want to be sat here at the start of next season thinking ‘There’s only been so many thousand season tickets sold, there’s apathy around the place’.
“I don’t want that. I don’t want to be here under those circumstances because I want to be here where people are enjoying their football and supportive of the players, supportive of me and we’re back where we were 12 months, 18 months ago, it was brilliant.
“It’s not been great, it’s not been easy, it’s not been nice, that’s for all of us. So I’d like for the club to be back in that position and then I can enjoy it more.”
Did Evans look to gee him up or reaffirm his belief that the Blues boss is the man to see Town out of danger in the final eight games?
“I’m not looking for that, I don’t seek that kind of a conversation out,” McCarthy continued.
“The best compliment I’ve ever had from him was when we were talking about clubs spending 10s and 20s and 30s and 40 millions and, being brutally honest, I’d love to be at that club and somebody saying to me ‘You’ve got to get promoted this year or you’ll get the sack’.
“And he said to me ‘Well, if I was one of those clubs you’d be the first person I’d call’. I don’t need any more support than that, that’ll do for me.”
Reflecting further on Evans’s comment, he added: “That would be nice if I find out one day, wouldn’t it? It’s never been the case. It was the nicest compliment, I wasn’t seeking that.
“I had a searingly honest conversation with him, I’m ambitious I don’t want to be where I am, not here, I’m not on about the club, I’m on about the position that we’re in, and neither does he.
“Villa was coming up and somewhere else and I just said I’d love to have that opportunity, don’t ever think I don’t want that.
“I don’t want to be here thinking ‘We’ll just keep Ipswich in the Championship and I’m happy and Marcus is happy’ because that’s not the case. And it was nice, he said ‘If I was at one of those clubs you’d be the first person I’d call’. I thought ‘I’ll take that’.”
Does McCarthy feel that managers can get typecast, that he’s a boss people view as one who can do well on a tight budget? “As long as I’ve got a CV that enough people say ‘That’s the type of manager you want to go to and give him a job’.
"But I just don’t want to be that [sort of manager], not at all. I’ve been better than that.”
Looking back at his time at Town, he continued: “It’s worked a lot better for three and a half years prior to where we are now, I guess, the last 12 months. No, not the last 12 months, we finished seventh last season, for God’s sake.
“This season it’s not worked as well. I think previously he’s been pretty happy with his lot, finishing sixth, finishing seventh in the last two years.
“And if that’s where we could get next season, be challenging for the play-offs, then that’s always going to be a good result for us.
“But he can’t just keep… I don’t know, find somebody else to keep throwing £5 million at it and be happy about it. I don’t know anyone who does that.”
McCarthy has made a significant profit in the transfer market while with Town but dismissed the idea that players have been sold from under him by Evans.
“That sounds like Marcus just comes and says ‘We’re selling him’ and you’ve got no say in it at all, that’s not the case.
“I’m listening to people talking about Hazard at Chelsea and they’re saying ‘Abramovich won’t sell his best players’ and the agent and the chairman of Real Madrid are saying ‘If the player says he wants to go, it’s pretty difficult to stop it’.
“And so Tyrone Mings has come from nothing and he gets sold for £8 million. Wow. How could we stop that?
“Murph’s 33 and he goes for £3 million and, I don’t know, doubles, trebles his wages. If they get promoted he’s on bonkers dough, and they will get promoted.
“There are certain things that you can’t really stop. And then it’s up to me to get other players in and try and patch it up or try and make it better eventually.
“And up until this season I’ve done it pretty well. This season’s not been great. I go back to my original point, let’s finish this season, let’s deal with Saturday, please God we get three points out of that and we can move forward, and then we’ll see what happens.
“But I’m not having that perception that they get sold from under my nose and there’s nothing I can do about it. Not with Marcus, players want to go and at some stages they’ll just have to go.”
McCarthy says the Championship has changed a lot within a relatively short space of time: “There’s been a lot of talk before about having a Premier League division two, which I think is complete nonsense, to be quite honest with you, because if you’re in Prem two you’re still in division two.
“We’re still in the second division in my view. Being in ‘the Championship’ doesn’t make it any more sexy than the second division, to be quite honest.
“But there almost is by default a Premier League division two in terms of the ones who have come down with all the money.
“And it always surprises me when people say ‘By the way, they’ve still got parachute payments, they’ve got £16 million’. I’m thinking ‘How have they got that, they must have been out of it for four years’. They’re in their fourth season and they’re still getting it.
“It does make it tougher, there’s no doubt about it, in terms of what people can spend and the wages they can spend.
“I remember leaving Wolves and the thought was that the TV money wasn’t going to go up, it was going to go down. And it actually doubled, it went from £1.3 billion to £3 billion, I believe.
“And consequently all the ones in the Premier League have got more money and if they come down they’ve got more money.
“And that was [from] four seasons ago, so whoever has come up and down, if you go through the league, there’s probably 18 of them that have been in the Premier League, maybe more now.
“And how many have been in it recently? Go through them, Fulham, Norwich, Villa, Newcastle, Wigan… and then there’s Sheffield Wednesday who got taken over and they’re paying their front four a bonkers amount of money.
“It has changed from that point of view. There are some though that are getting a lot more money and they’re no better, to be honest. There is that as well.”
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