Skuse: We're All Behind the Gaffer
Thursday, 15th Mar 2018 17:11
Town midfielder Cole Skuse has echoed the recent comments by skipper Luke Chambers that every member of the squad is solidly behind manager Mick McCarthy staying in charge beyond the end of the season when his contract expires.
Vice-captain Skuse said: “Chambo’s like me, he has been round the block a few times, and I can only reiterate what he said.
“People can say ‘Of course he’s going to say that about the manager’ but I’m not just saying it because he brought me to the club and I’ve played a lot of games for him here.
“It wouldn’t just be the players sad to see the manager depart, it would be people from all the different departments. Everyone is behind him.”
McCarthy bore the brunt of supporters’ frustration on Tuesday, both during and after the 3-0 defeat by Hull at Portman Road, and added: “He’s a human being and you have to ask yourself how you would cope with standing in that technical area for 90 minutes and thousands of people hurling insults in your direction.
“He stands there and he takes it on his shoulders with his chest pumped out. You have to take your hat off to him for that.
“He may have moments at home when he really thinks about things but to stand there and take that from so many people, I think you have to take your hat off to him.
“You have to walk past the gaffer’s office in the morning to get to the changing rooms. The lads will go in, like they do every day, and shake his hand and ask how he is.
“He’s honest enough and open enough to say whether he has woken up on the right side of the bed or not.
“It works both ways and he’s in our changing room wishing the lads all the best for the day ahead in training. It’s not just the manager and the players, it’s everyone at the club when we bump into each other. It’s a very tight-knit training ground.”
But Skuse appreciates how supporters feel, pointing out: “They pay strong money to come and watch us, and they want to see the lads do well.
“It’s not a cheap day out by any stretch, whether you’ve bought your season ticket or you’re coming along on the day with your two kids.
“They want to go away thinking ‘Great team performance’ and having seen a few goals. You can understand the frustration from the fans’ point of view.
“If things like the manager’s contract get resolved everyone is in the picture and in the clear about what’s happening. We can get our head around things and maybe move on.
“We have nine games to go and the fact that our next one is away from home could be a blessing.
“On the flip side, you might like a home game so that you can put things right and put on a display for the fans.
“We need them and they will be around to support their club through thick and thin long after we’ve gone.
“In the seasons when we finished sixth and seventh the attendances were higher and of course we want our fans onside and with us.
“We massively appreciate what they go through, not just at home but when they travel to away games, which can involve a lot of time travelling. We know what they give to the club and we want them with us.”
The fans’ reaction on Tuesday, when they called for McCarthy to leave the club and criticised his brand of football, took Skuse by surprise because it followed a decent run of form by the Blues, who had only lost one of their seven previous games and appeared to still have a chance, albeit a slim one, of challenging for a play-off place.
The ex-Bristol City player said: “Leading up to Tuesday night we had some really good performances and results, which maybe made it tougher to take.
“We didn’t go into that game on the back of five or six straight defeats. We beat Preston and Sheffield Wednesday away then we drew with Sheffield United at home.
“Maybe we weren’t at our attacking best against Sheffield United but we held a team who are just outside the play-offs and have been in and around them all season. It’s not a disgraceful result. That made it a little bit tougher to take on Tuesday.
“Going away from home on Saturday we’ll be trying our utmost to win the game. Whatever teams the gaffer selects we’ll be doing all we can to win, not just for ourselves but everyone connected with the club.”
Skuse reached a career landmark when he made his 200th first team appearance for the club in the 1-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday and added: “It’s a massive honour. When I first signed I was told by everyone what a great club Ipswich is and what a great place it is to play your football.
“I’ve got to say a massive thank-you to all the lads I’ve played with along the way, the manager and the staff, and of course my family for the way they have backed me and kept me ticking over.”
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