At the moment it is pure speculation, but now that he has been cut free again, could former boss Mick McCarthy seriously contemplate returning to the Blues?
This, of course, would horrify a lot of supporters but someone who claims to know him personally said that because of his close rapport with owner Marcus Evans, and now that he has been disentangled from the Irish managerial post, he would give the matter ‘serious thought’ should he be invited back.
McCarthy recently spoke to the press about his desire to continue managing and reaching the milestone of 1,000 games in charge. He currently stands on 981 games in club management. (899 league matches) ” I am judging myself against Roy Hodgson and Neil Warnock who are my peers. They have got ten years on me so I am still cracking on. I don’t put any timescale on it. As long as I am enjoying it, and I am, I will continue to do it.”
But we must not overlook the day that Mick the Man walked out on Ipswich Town. The Blues defeated Barnsley 1-0 at Portman Road that night in April, almost exactly two years since. Young Irishman Barry Cotter was making his debut that night and was impressive. So much so in fact that when McCarthy decided to replace him it was met with a chorus of boos.
McCarthy said angrily afterwards in his post-match press conference, “It was a disgraceful reaction that, but it’s the last time I’ll have to hear it because that’s my last game. I’m out of here!” And so it was. McCarthy had announced back at the end of March he would be leaving his post at the end of the season but circumstances preempted this.
That match was to be McCarthy’s 279th game in charge and his last. It all began way back on the 1st of November 2012. His 37.6 win percentage was hardly anything to get excited about but he did an exceptional job under very trying conditions. He guided Town to the play-offs with very limited financial resources, and although the football was not pretty on the eye, it was largely effective as he went on to win 105 games in total.
And Marcus Evans heaped praise on McCarthy for the job he had done at Portman Road, including of course saving the club from relegation in 2012/13 and then leading them to the play-offs in 2014/15 only to lose out to arch-rivals Norwich.
“When Mick arrived, we looked to be on the way to relegation. He saved us from that and then took us to the play-offs within two years. I have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with him which is vital between owner and manager at any football club.”
We must not overlook however that all of this is in the past tense but a close associate would not deny the possibility of him returning to Portman Road.
” Nothing in this life is certain and even football is on hold at the moment. He had a very good relationship with Marcus and I know that apart from the acrimonious relationship he had with a small number of the more vocal supporters, he enjoyed his time there. Mick is a good man who is respected in the game, and it would not be the first time a manager has returned to a former club.”
But McCarthy is not a lover of the rumour mill and once said curtly, “Opinions are like backsides. We’ve all got them but is not wise to air them in public.”
And the last few words should I guess go to the man himself. ” This season – when will it resume? But we all know that when it does, jobs will come up because that is just the nature of the game. I would like to see it resume first. Let’s get playing and watching football again first. And then he added cautiously, ” We seem a long way from that at the moment.”
Would you like to see Mick the Man back at the helm? I would be interested to hear your views on the subject.