McCarthy Ready for Summer Holiday After Tough Year
Friday, 5th May 2017 17:21
Town boss Mick McCarthy admits he’s ready for his summer holiday after what he admits has been a tough season. The Blues are set to finish somewhere between 15th and 18th depending on Sunday’s results with the Blues ending their campaign at relegation-haunted Nottingham Forest.
“I’m ready for my holidays, I have to be honest,” McCarthy said. “It’s been a tough year. It’s been a tough year for lots of reasons and it’s not been a good year for us.
“We’ve not really played that well, we’ve had some good performances and some really good results but overall it’s been below average for us, if anything.
“And we’ve had a fair bit of stick for it. We’ve not spent a lot in the transfer market, of course. That’s been a bit of a bugbear of mine, I think we’ve probably had a hundred grand’s worth of credit and £10 million worth of grief this year, and it ought to be the other way around, to be honest. And that disappoints.
“But that happens and I’ve been the one to say we’ve not been good enough, and certainly not good enough at home and entertained our fans. So I understand the grief, some of the brickbats we’ve been getting.
“But it’s finished Sunday, let’s hope we can finish on a high and come back and start again and get back to where we were a couple of seasons ago when this place was rocking.”
Does his 25 years of experience in management help him to cope with the flak he’s received throughout the season?
“Yes, because I don’t go home and worry about it,” he added. “I don’t go home and worry about what anybody might be saying, that I’m a bad manager or a bad coach because I’ve proved pretty much categorically that that’s not the case.
“But you can have a bad time, you can have a bad season, you can have a bad period in a season. I did as a player, but you’ve got to come back, you’ve got to get back to it and turn it around. That’s my intention.”
Why has this season not gone as well as previous campaigns? “I guess there are loads of reasons, but I’ll let all you guys [the media] tell me. I’ll analyse that in private with TC.”
Many fans and pundits would cite the sale of Daryl Murphy and Town not being able to find a replacement in either the remaining days of the August transfer window or January as key.
While McCarthy concurs that the Irish international, who joined Newcastle United for £3 million a few days before the end of the summer transfer window, was a big loss - “We got goals off him, he was a huge player for us” - he says it’s never as simple as losing one member of a team.
“No, it isn’t and when he went and we took Leon Best in, he played a few games, but we also had Brett Pitman and Didzy both injured at the same time,” he recalled.
“I start talking about things like that and it all sounds like excuses because we have had injuries and maybe not had a settled side.
“Murph was a really big player for us, it’s akin to taking whoever it might be in any team out, for example at Preston Jordan Hugill came to the fore and he was a real handful and they scored goals off him.
“Chris Martin, we went to Fulham I knew full well he’d come into the game and play against us and he’s just a real focal point up front and he makes it difficult for defenders he can play off.
“I think any team that’s got that one striker that does make a difference is hard to replace.”
Is a player in that mould top of his summer wish-list? “We’ve got a number of positions we’re looking at.”
McCarthy says he is determined to have a better season next year, although he would be even if it had been a more successful campaign.
“That’s always the same, whatever you do,” he said. “Even when we won the Championship at Wolves I was more determined then to do even better by staying in the Premier League.
“And last year when we finished seventh I was more determined to finish [higher] but it’s just not worked out that way. But you’ve got to be ambitious to beat what you’ve done, certainly.”
Despite Town’s disappointing season there are plenty of Championship clubs who have had worse years, including opponents Nottingham Forest, who are in danger of dropping into League One.
“But that still doesn’t excuse the fact that we’ve not been as good as we should have been,” McCarthy retorted when this was pointed out. “We’ve not won enough games at home, we’ve not entertained enough people.
“So just because there’s somebody worse off than us I’m not going to make that an excuse for us not being as good as we should have been, and I never have.
“But yes, there are people in a damned sight worse position than us on Sunday going into this game.
“And the fact that we’ve not had that edge on Saturday [against Sheffield Wednesday] and, do you know what we might not have that real clinical edge on Sunday, somebody might have it more than us.
“But I’m glad I’m not feeling that edge on Sunday. I’m so glad I’m not feeling those butterflies and worried that we might go down.”
He added: “I’m ready for the season to finish because it’s been a disappointment to a lot of us, to the fans, to the club, to me, to the players.
“Not for the want of trying, we’ve not done anything really different than we’ve done over the last four years since I’ve been here, in terms of how we’ve tried to play and win games.
“But absolutely, I’ll be back and ready for it again come, off the top of my head, June 26th. No reason why I shouldn’t.”
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