McCarthy Confident of Owner Evans's Backing as They Prepare to Set Budget
Friday, 5th May 2017 17:00
Town boss Mick McCarthy is in no doubt he still has the backing of Blues owner Marcus Evans as the two prepare to continue their summer meetings and set next season’s budget.
The duo met up to hold their first discussion the day after the Rotherham match and will speak again soon before McCarthy departs for his close season break.
Asked whether Evans has indicated that he will back him and give him time to rebuild, McCarthy said: “I don’t think time’s a problem, you were asking me at Christmas if it was good that I’ve got an owner who is prepared to give me time.
“I’ve had plenty of time and pretty much over the nearly five years it’s been a good time. So I think that’s why Marcus has given me his support because he believes in me.
“Whether we’re going to have loads of money to spend, that’s a different ball game, but support and time’s never been in short supply.”
Any concerns that Sunday’s match at Nottingham Forest might be his last in charge at Portman Road? “No, not at all. From me or from Marcus? From Marcus? No, not at all. I’m not even sure I recognise that question.
“Absolutely no problem, that would be a strange one now if that changed, but I don’t think that’s going to happen at all.
“I think I’ve spoken before about this and said that if anything the one person who has had faith and belief in me has been Marcus. And I think I’ve also said why wouldn’t he, when I’ve proved that I can do it.
“You look at Nottingham Forest, who we’re playing on Sunday, they’ve had 10 managers, I believe, including caretakers, since I’ve been here.
“And they’ve spent a lot of money as well, and they’re in a relegation fight on Sunday against us.
“Blackburn, how many managers have they had? Wigan, Rotherham? There are a few of them around. QPR, Wolves since I’ve left, over the last five years, they’re not in any much better position than we are. I think he’s right to put his faith in me.”
McCarthy says he’s not able to make any moves in the transfer market until he and Evans have thrashed out the budget, although he admits he already has players in his thoughts in “a number of positions”.
Strikers such as Rotherham’s Danny Ward and Preston’s Jordan Hugill, both targeted in January, are likely to remain in his thoughts, while Cambridge United midfielder Luke Berry, who has been watched regularly by for some time, is again rumoured to be a summer target.
“We’ve got players that we’d like to talk about but until I know what we can spend on them or if there are any transfer fees, I don’t know,” he said. “There’s no point in really talking about it until I find out. We’ve certainly got targets.”
Does he know what a competitive budget will be in the 2017/18 season? “Not really, you could easily find out what Brighton’s budget was and what everybody else’s and then you could say that’s a competitive budget.
“What’s Preston’s? I’d say they’ve been competitive and been pushing at the top six. I don’t know what their budget is, I’ve no idea.
“Then there’ll be others. What’s Nottingham Forest’s budget? What’s Blackburn’s budget? What’s QPR’s budget? It’s a damned sight more than some other clubs.
“I think it’s changed, I think it’s got harder because if you look when we finished sixth and seventh we’d have still been down the pecking order in terms of budget. Can we compete? Possibly, but it’s getting harder.”
Will he be pressing Evans harder for more cash this summer? “I can only say about the players we’d like to get and whatever they cost they have to be in the budget.
“But he sticks £5 million a year in to keep this place running. So I think it’s very hard on him when people are saying he’s not putting any money in.
“He’s got his leg in for a hundred million or something. I don’t know too many people who would have an appetite to keep doing that.”
He added: “I don’t know what I need. How can I tell? We’ve got Dwight Gayle who cost £10 million and Matt Ritchie who cost £15 million or was it £12 million and £10 million or whatever it was.
“That’s not going to happen, so that’s at one end. Who could we say is a team [at the other budget-wise]. Huddersfield have done great, I think they’ve been, not fortunate because they’ve picked the manager, but he came in and he knew these players in Germany that he could get his hands on and that’s been a good market for him.
“I don’t know where we are in terms of other budgets. But it’s pie in the sky to say I’m just going to sit down and give him a figure and he’s going to go ‘Oh year, have [that]’, because we don’t know.”
McCarthy says they will look to get the budget confirmed quickly: “It’ll be done sooner rather than later and I will be going on my holidays. I’m more than ready for that.”
He added: “Whatever budget you’ve got you have to try and get the best players that you can get with that budget and then work with them and try and get the absolute maximum out of them.
“That’s on ability and effort and personality and everything that needs to go on the pitch. And I’d say I’ve done that, me and TC we’ve done that over our time here.
“It’s funny because somebody’s reminded me I sat here at the start of the season and I said it was the best squad I’ve had since I’ve been here.
“Well, I’m not going to sit here and say it’s the worst squad I’ve had since I’ve been here, am I? And I might be saying next year, ‘It’s the best squad since I’ve been here’.
“You’ve just got to get what you can with what you have and make them as good as you can.”
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