Spence: McCarthy's Post-Match Exit Came Out of the Blue
Thursday, 12th Apr 2018 17:15
Jordan Spence has admitted that he and his team-mates were all stunned when manager Mick McCarthy delivered the news after the midweek home victory over Barnsley that he was leaving his role with immediate effect.
The defender said McCarthy entered the dressing room on Tuesday evening after seeing Jonas Knudsen’s headed goal secure a welcome win and no one was prepared for the events that followed, with McCarthy deciding the time was right to depart rather than waiting until the end of the season.
Spence said: “We got into the dressing room and we were all shaking each other’s hands – players and backroom staff – as we always do. The manager announced that it was his last game and it was an odd feeling.
“We had just had a positive game with a positive result and there were a lot of things to be excited about, not only for the present but also the future, like Barry [Cotter's] performance and the way in which we played in general.
“The manager said that he and TC were going to go, and he said a few words that are probably best to stay private
“He told us he would see us today to say his goodbyes. It was a bit weird to see him today because he wasn’t taking the training or involved in any way.
“We had a good, positive meeting with Bryan [Klug], Nashy and Hoggy, and we spoke about our objectives over the coming weeks and the four games we still have left to play.
“We’ve always tried to do that, whether the circumstances have been positive or negative, and we will continue to be professional going forward.
“Today was the first opportunity for Bryan to address us all as a group and we had a good chat. Our focus is very simple – it’s to be as well prepared as we can be for Nottingham Forest this weekend and to make this period of games as meaningful and as enjoyable as they can be.
“Bryan’s brilliant, he’s a familiar face around here, as are Nashy and Hoggy.
“It was a bit of an odd day because those that played on Tuesday only did so much and there was a top-up session for those that didn’t.
“Lids [Andy Liddell] did our warm-up, while Nashy and Hoggy have conducted training sessions for us all year, so nothing too much changed. The strangest time will probably come on Saturday afternoon.
“Mick looked as if he was ready for a round of golf and seemed in very good spirits. Chambo was bubbling around like he always does. He’s been here for a very long time, he’s a fantastic captain and he understands the mood of the players.
“He’ll obviously be a strong asset for Bryan to bounce off in terms of where the boys are both physically and mentally.”
Spence claimed that he and his colleagues were taken aback by McCarthy’s announcement, adding: “I wouldn’t say that I’m particularly good at reading the signs with regard to what people are or are not going to do.
“Today we prepared as we have done for every other game, in relation to our training and the information that we take on board about the opposition.
“There’s been no change to the usual routine, although there’s been a slight change in feeling because we know the manager is not going to be here again. In terms of the preparation it could well have been him in charge as usual.”
Asked if he was sad at the circumstances of McCarthy’s departure, Spence responded: “From my point of view I’m always big on controlling what we can control. As a group of players, the greatest testament we can give to him, the work he has done and the way we appreciate him is how well we play and how well we work.
“Whether results have gone well or performances have been good, there has been no waning in effort and professionalism from us, and I’m sure all the narratives from this point onwards will be written by everyone else.”
Some chants from the away section at Griffin Park on Saturday during and after Town’s narrow 1-0 defeat by Brentford prompted McCarthy’s decision not to wait until the end of the season before quitting.
“I’m not going to sit here and tell anyone what to do,” said Spence. “We can’t control that and we understand that we’ve not been able to do more this season, like fighting towards the end for a play-off place.
“People air their views and it’s difficult to distinguish whether it’s a majority or a minority. We’re in an era of social media and there are no rules and it’s not policed.
“It’s a segment of society that we have right now so we’re not going to know the full extent of people’s feelings or know what’s coming until we see it.
“As a player all I can say is that it works a lot better when they are cheering and encouraging you as opposed to digging you up.
“However, of course they are going to have their frustrations because they have a desire to see us do well and so do we. So that’s a conversation, possibly, for another day.”
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