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Opposition View: McCarthy On Return to Oakwell

10 March 2017

The Ipswich Town manager was speaking to the media ahead of his return to his old stomping ground..

The Tractor Boys are currently on a seven match unbeaten run that has seen them draw the last five. 

A Barnsley legend, and Town manager now for coming up to five years, Mick McCarthy says he's unable to recall a similar sequence of results despite his 25 years in management.

“I don’t know of anything like it, I don’t think so. But I’ve had a run of seven defeats before and I’ll tell you which one I prefer!” he joked.

“We should have won a couple of the games along the way, certainly. I don’t know too many that we should have lost, though.

“Even [the 0-0 draw with Wolves] on Tuesday night they’ve had probably the best of it in the second half, but we’d had the best of the first. It was probably evens.

“But you always remember it coming towards the end of the game, the second half always sticks in your mind more than the first. Nobody mentioned it but I thought we should have had a penalty on Tuesday night when Tom Lawrence was fouled in the second half.”

McCarthy has mixed things up a little recently with the Tractor Boys playing a 3-5-2 system and he's relatively pleased with how it's working.

“We played it for the first time at QPR and then I changed it to 4-4-2 but we’ve played it pretty much most games since" McCarthy explained.

“It’s been good, we’ve had lots of chances in games with it as well, although not so much on Tuesday night.

“We’ve looked more solid playing that way. It got us out of a hole playing that way because we were in a bit of trouble at the time.

“I’m pleased with the system and it’s not through playing that and tactics that we’ve had a lack of chances, that was just Tuesday night, in most other games we’ve had chances and could have won the games.”

Saturday will be Mick's first trip back to Oakwell as a manager since the passing of his good friend Norman Rimmington and he admits his return will be soured a little because of that. 

He said: “It will be bitter-sweet going back there on Saturday. Everyone knows what the Club means to me but it will be the first time I have gone there in 42 years and Rimmo won’t be there.

“He was the first person I went to see whenever I went back there. I’d go straight into the laundry room and say ‘where’s Rimmo?’ 

“Everyone needs good advice from people they trust at some stage in their life. They don’t put themselves up as a mentor but they give you the right advice at the right time. It might not be what you want to hear but it’s the right thing to hear and Rimmo was always good with that. 

“He was at the club when I was there at 16 years old and it will be strange and sad without him there on Saturday.”

McCarthy explained why he believes that Reds Gaffer Paul Heckingbottom will be in the running for the Manager of the Year. 

He describes Hecky as 'brilliant', saying: “He’ll be in the running for that, I would think. “And one of the awards is for what you do with limited resources, that’s throughout the leagues, that’s everybody. He’s got to have that as well.

“They came here for the first game of the season and they impressed me then. They’ve sold players on, two to Villa [Conor Hourihane and James Bree], Sam Winnall has gone to Sheffield Wednesday and he’s had to keep turning it over. I think he’s been brilliant and for me he is a contender for Manager of the Year.

“And they’d have to be a contender for one of the teams of the year in our division when they’ve come up from League One and done as well as they’ve done. They’ve stuck with 4-4-2, it’s worked for them and they’ve been terrific.”

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