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Waghorn: Town Move Worked Perfectly For Me
Wednesday, 29th Jul 2020 11:25

Former Blues striker Martyn Waghorn has been reflecting on his one-year spell at Town which he says worked perfectly for him after a tough spell in Scotland at Rangers.

Waghorn, now with Derby County, moved to the Blues on a cut-price £250,000 fee from the Glasgow giants in the summer of 2017 and scored 16 times in his only season at Portman Road as Mick McCarthy’s side finished 12th in the Championship.

The former Sunderland man exited the following summer to join the Rams for an initial fee of £5 million after new manager Paul Hurst had taken over at Portman Road.

Waghorn, now 30, says McCarthy was very different to how he’s imagined him before he met him.

“When I got there I got a completely different impression about him,” he said in an interview with the Open Goal podcast (1hr 43mins 57secs).

“I thought he would be this mad man, but what a nice guy. He was very laid-back, very calm, very relaxed and it really surprised me.”

Waghorn says that although he expected McCarthy to be “more intense”, his new boss made his point when he felt he needed to.

“Before I signed I said, ‘Can I have the number nine shirt? I see myself as striker, I want the number nine shirt’.

“He said ‘It’s a big number!’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, whatever, it’s fine, it’s only a number to me’.

“Anyway, the next week we’re doing old-v-young and the old team gets absolutely battered, I’ve missed a couple of chances. This is before I even made my [Championship] debut.

“He pulled me into his office afterwards and said ‘Do you think that’s good enough, your performance out there today?’

“I didn’t really think about it, to be honest, but it was absolutely crap, and he said ‘If you think my number nine is performing like that for me then you’ve got another thing coming’. I thought ‘Oh s—-, I best pull my finger out!’.

“That’s how he was and I never really looked back with my relationship with him. What a top guy he is. I’ve got nothing but praise for him. He’s a really, really good guy.”

Reflecting on Town and making a comparison with Rangers, where he spent two years, he added: “It was complete chalk and cheese. It’s a very family-orientated club, not much stick or abuse. Fans would just turn up, support you and go home.

“It was a complete contrast and probably at the time it was what I needed to get away from the animosity and the drama and everything that comes with playing for Rangers and the times I was going through.

“To go and play for a club [where there was] stability, where the manager’s got a style of play that I kind of fitted into, and a very family-orientated club, it worked perfectly for me and my wife and son went down there and felt settled straight away.

“It worked out and I can’t them highly enough because it kind of got me to move to where I am now.”

Waghorn says the players were as surprised as anyone by McCarthy’s exit after the Barnsley match in April 2018.

“It was bizarre. He was getting a lot of stick in the press and fans were on him or whatever,” he recalled.

“We played at Brentford away and he was meant to come back on the coach and all the fans were waiting for him to have a go at him and give him a bit of a stick but he’s pulled off in this car at on the other side of the stadium.

“And he pulled me in on the Monday and said ‘I think I’m going to leave, I think I’m done, I don’t deserve this, I think it’s unacceptable’.

“The next game, the midweek game where we’re playing [Barnsley] and at the meeting after the game he goes, ‘That’s me lads, I’m done’.

“We’re like ‘What?’ He goes ‘Yeah, that’s my last game, that’s my time done. I’m going next week, I’m done’. And everyone was like ‘That’s the most bizarre resignation or leaving of a club I’ve ever known’.

“But he just wore his heart on his sleeve, he was like, ‘I don’t deserve this, you players don’t deserve this’.

“He respected us enough to say, ’You go out there week-in, week-out in front of fans that are giving me stick and I shouldn’t put that on to you.

“‘If the fans want a change I’ll do that for the fans, I’ll do that for the club and I’ll do that for the owner, but most importantly you as players deserve a bit of respect and a bit of support from the fans and if they aren’t going to give that I’ll leave and hopefully they can push you on because as a group of players you deserve that’.

“A lot of the people in Ipswich I don’t think realised how good he was for the club, he worked on a budget for so long and the players he recruited just because of who he was and the personality he was.

“He brought so many good players to the club that essentially they probably couldn’t have got without him. The grass isn’t always greener, as they say. It’s just gone backwards ever since.”

Waghorn moved to Derby, for whom he has scored 25 times in two seasons, that August but says that wasn’t something he was looking to do until McCarthy’s departure.

“At that point it wasn’t at the forefront of my mind, I’d moved to get settled somewhere again and enjoy my football, but then when the gaffer left, I was like ‘I’ve got an opportunity to leave here and if it comes across then I’ll look into it’,” he said.

“It was one of those times where the manager had left, a lot of players were out of contract at the time so the team was going to change again and I didn’t know how it was going to sit.

“Then obviously we brought in Paul Hurst, who had his own way of playing the game, and he wanted to bring in a lot of players and a lot of players left and it just wasn’t kind of where I saw myself, where [I was] the year before.

“Then obviously Derby and Frank Lampard came in and from when I heard of that interest I was like ‘That’s me done, I’ve got to go, I’m out of here’.”

Reflecting on his short spell at Portman Road, he added: “I’ve got to give my family, myself and the move a bit of credit because it gave me a platform to get to go and play and enjoy playing as a striker, scoring goals and doing what I do.

“It gave me the opportunity to do that, that’s why I thank Mick, the gaffer, for giving me that chance to go and play and do that and I’m where I am now because of that opportunity to go and move and do that.”

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Bluearmy_81 added 11:53 - Jul 29
Yep MM performed minor miracles in his time at town. The football was boring and the relationship with fans became toxic but he should never have been the main focus of the town fans anger and frustration. Why so many Town fans seem incapable of turning on a chronically underfunding owner who has harmed the club so deeply (I seriously doubt at times we will ever recover) completely beats me, and it beats any other football fans I talk to about it....

Suffolkboy added 11:58 - Jul 29
MM is rightfully portrayed by Waghorn ; and without hindsight his telling of the story puts lots into perspective !
The selection of PH and D an unmitigated disaster , a little man overwhelmed at being offered the post ,and unable to match up to the demands ,he alone brought an undreamed off paucity of performance and under-equipped playing staff to ITFC, at the same time divesting of some real talent and failing to ‘inspire ‘ the staff ,who remained dutifully polite and discreet !
The unrest at Portman Rd itself was truly untypical and unwanted ; our useless then MD apparently stood back ,gave no leadership or even display of interest. ( Square peg, round hole ) .
Hindsight is the only exact science ,but maturity of judgement and in depth assessment of character were Mick’ s strengths ;I only wish ME had come to his senses earlier ,effected change AND provided more funds for strengthening the basis of an excellent squad with home grown talents already emerging .
What is , is and we must look forward , ever enthusiastic about ITFC (our Club ) , supportive of ALL the players and staff ,hoping for a good season ahead ,whatever circumstances might bring .
Our support will be invaluable !

Sparky85 added 12:04 - Jul 29
Nice to see the internal feeling towards MM and what it was like in the dressing room. Clear the players liked him and you wonder how many left because of what happened that season; Waghorn, Garner, DMcG

As much as I agree that it was getting time for a change, I do think its completely embarrassing how MM was treated towards the end. Yes, he didn't help himself, but fans waiting for him outside a ground and some of the chants were pathetic.

Water under the bridge now. Onwards and (hopefully) upwards! COYB

MaySixth added 12:53 - Jul 29
Very good manager Mick McCarthy.
He did a good job for us.
The football wasn't great but he did well.
Moved on now.

Bergholt_Blue added 13:12 - Jul 29
I'm sooooooo happy for him W⚓

robmonkey007 added 13:40 - Jul 29
Oh FFS.....change the record

MurcianITCC added 13:42 - Jul 29
Finally...finally something I can agree with BA81 on. MM, love him or hate him pulled rabbits out of hats at our club, Waghorn being one. Had he been backed at a certain time how things might have been different.....

BlueandTruesince82 added 13:46 - Jul 29
Every year Derby choke I smile a bit.

MM was a good manager that stayed to long. Paul Hurst was a disaster but before knives are sharpened lets remember we almost all universally on board with his appointment.

Young, up and comming manager who to that point had been successful in his previous roles and probabaly had earnt the right to step up.

Just a shame it was with us and he actually wasn't able to relate to the players he had so he told the clubs 3 time player of the year (this years golden glove winner in the championship) he was overrated and over paid and then some how went down hill from there.

I'm sure Hurst regretts taking the job too given his career has bombed since but I guess his compensation package means he did much better out of the deal than we did.

I fear a long stay in L1. History will show we went though the trap door at just the wrong time. Hope I'm wrong


Cakeman added 13:58 - Jul 29
Waghorn. Did very well for us and we wouldn’t be able to afford the same quality player any more.
McCarthy. Did very well for us for three or four years but as funds dried up so did our football style.
I’m not convinced McCarthy would have kept us in the Championship as each season he found it harder and harder. Our play became defensive/negative with the aim of Championship survival. Reputation and respect from a lot McCarthy had but even he would not have kept some of our ex big guns here because other clubs could afford to pay much more.
Future. Let us try and keep our younger players and let them build as a team. No use trying to get journeymen in. Also NO loan players. I’ve had a basin full of them over the years.
PS stick with Lambert so we have continuity within the club. Changing a manager whilst we have an owner who is unable to release significant amounts in the over inflated transfer world would achieve the square root of very little.

PackwoodBlue added 14:07 - Jul 29
Yes, MM did well for a couple of seasons and should have received financial backing to strengthen in January 2015. A terrible error by ME. However, MM resided over the defeat to Lincoln in the FA Cup, the worst Town performance in years, amongst other awful results and performances. His style of football had become very negative and boring and his attitude towards the fans and his desire and hunger seemed to dwindle somewhat, whether it was a the lack of funds, ultimate success, or fans turning on his style of play , probably all three, it was time for a change, and sometimes you have to take a step back to make two steps forward. Hopefully, we can rise again. Sadly, I feel the Premier League is a long way off but first priority and objective is to get out of League One. Then we can consolidate and hopefully start pushing for the play-offs in the Championship.

Sospiri added 14:22 - Jul 29
It's clear that the players liked Mick, and he did well on a small budget, but man, his style of football was so dull, and he really wrecked his relationship with the fans.

runningout added 14:38 - Jul 29
MM’s time had come we were shocking. Silly appointment after he went. Those that should of been were not prepared one little bit for who to follow. We knew players liked Mick McCarthy and many left as could see club was clueless. Rebuilding is still too slow.

ThaiBlue added 14:45 - Jul 29
Who bloody cares about waghorn and what was good for him,history now move on.

Carberry added 14:49 - Jul 29
McCarthy did a really good job with what he had at his disposal. The problem was nobody managed him, he wasn't pulled to one side and told don't get into a fight with the fans. The owner didn't tell us the truth about what was available for MM to strengthen and so we all thought the style of play was a disaster without knowing that it was the only way with the resources MM had. Some honesty then and now would be very welcome as we lurch toward obscurity.

multiplescoregasms added 15:14 - Jul 29
Are we still going to keep on about the good and bad of McCarthy? Like him or not, he isn't at our club anymore, so let's just deal with the future of ITFC. I will say that Waghorn was at the club for a year, so with all respect to him he didn't see a great deal of the McCarthy reign. Just saying.

dieselmorris added 15:29 - Jul 29
mm did good job with limited resources, but his remit was to keep us in championship, which he did football wise absolutely turgid that was a cure for insomnia.perhaps our esteemed owner should have backed him a little bit. all i will say did the club move forward under his leadership in six years. robson took three years and you could see the shoots of better days ahead, with him sweet fa and part of that must evans failure and still is one useless owner.

Bert added 16:25 - Jul 29
The leaving of Waghorn was indeed a huge matter of regret. He and others could see very quickly that Hurst was out of his depth and Evans, on this occasion, acted quickly to rectify his mistake in appointing him. With Covid affecting the stability of club finances up and down the football pyramid it remains to be seen how club owners will be seen by fans. I remain of the view that our squad with a few additions, is good enough to gain promotion if they all click and the manager plays his best team.

cat added 17:06 - Jul 29
Waghorn’s a journey man who’s careers been blighted by ‘incidents’ and inconsistency. How any one was surprised Mick threw the towel simply beggars belief. Like he said “I’ve got an opportunity to leave here and if it comes across then I’ll look into it”

TractorRoyNo1 added 17:11 - Jul 29
I'd rather be in the 4th division than have McCarthy anywhere near our club again.

blues1 added 18:17 - Jul 29
Find it amazing that so many fans still seem too have their facts wrong about jan2015. McCarthy was offered money in that window but refused it, as he was happy with the squad he had. So no, not one of Evans mistakes. Can see why McCarthy would have felt he didnt need to strengthen with the way things were going mind you. In his last but one season he actually spent the same as huddersfield, but while they got promoted, we escaped relegation by 4 points. And it was during that season, that Evan's made his biggest error of all. Not sacking McCarthy after the lincoln cup tie. Had he done so, the ill feeling that developed between him and many fans would never have developed. And remember, as much as McCarthy would like people to believe that all of the abuse was personal against him, it was almost entirely about his style of football, and him sending out the team, not to lose, rather than to try too win. It was the abuse that came back from him aimed directly towards the fans, something a professional should never do, that caused a small number of those disgruntled fans to get a bit more personal towards the very end, and that was unnecessary from those involved

heathen66 added 18:57 - Jul 29
Waghorn done well for us, but lets not kid ourselves he played for peanuts.
Like most of Micks signings came on small transfers or free transfers, which are subsequently compensated with large (larger) wages and higher signing on fees.
What it does highlight is the fact that PH had very little chance of success (despite his managerial short comings and his assistant) as the senior players were all sulking and willing to prove a point following Mick rightful dismissal.
The better players such as Waghorn (who Derby tripled his wages btw) , Garner and the injury prone McGoldrick (who strangely is 100% fit at Sheff Utd as he is not run into the ground like he was by MM, and played where he is most effective). Those that no one else wanted are still here with far to much influence handed out by MM and still affecting the club and any way forward.
This club needs a fresh start from top to bottom, and not just one man (manager).
We need to have an identity, a style and sign players that fit a jigsaw puzzle, not just 11 players shoehorned in because of who they are.
Currently PL still does not know his best XI, and does not know what formation is best.
Go back to the Burley days, we played a certain way (yes we had alternatives) but everyone knew how we played, and the final piece of the jigsaw was identified as Marcus Stewart. The manager and scouts...and the chairman all played significant parts in promotion, but currently with no picture to piece together the jigsaw, it is going to be very difficult...unless hopefully PL surprises us.

londontractorboy57 added 19:33 - Jul 29
I would rater have MM and still be in the Championship than the Torrid state our once great club finds itself.

blues1 added 20:57 - Jul 29
Londontractorboy57. The problem is that you are assuming if he was still here wed still be in the championship. That, I very much doubt. In his last 2 seasons we escaped by 4 points, and then finished 17th, only due to a couple of results towards the end of that season. It was just a matter of time before we fell through the trapdoor. And it's not all because of the lack of money being spent, tho with frees and loans we were still spending money. The fact is, if u simply set out to not lose, you'll probably end up losing more than you win. It's also I'd say, a fact, that regardless of what's happened since his departure, that if he was still here, we wouldn't have been getting crowds of 20,000 these past 2 seasons. In fact, wed prob have struggled to get half that. At the end of the day, the past is exactly that. The past. It's time to forget all that and look to the future whatever that holds. Next season is possibly the most important season weve had for some years, and we all need to get behind the club, put the negative thoughts to one side, certainly for now, and back them hopefully to a very much needed successful season.

LWNR2013 added 22:45 - Jul 29
Jack Marriott to name just one of so many

Terry_Nutkins added 23:22 - Jul 29
What's the point being made on Jack Marriott? If its a bash on Mick i don't get it. His attitude was poor, he came back overweight and he was way behind Murphy, McGoldrick, Sears etc. He did great at Luton and Peterborough lower down but we were champ and a good quality champ team his record is poor. 2 goals last year. 7 season before. His attitude has been questioned again. So if anything another case for good judgement by Mick. Managers have to make tough calls on young players all the time. Sometimes only way a young player can make a mark is by moving on. He wasn't going to get in our team back then. We were good back then :(

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