Mick McCarthy explains why he channelled inner Phil Brown and conducted on-pitch team talk
Ipswich were beaten ugly in front of their livid home supporters on Tuesday night, putting an end to the hosts' three-game unbeaten run having picked up seven points from a possible nine.
After the game, with Portman Road's boos still ringing clear, McCarthy – Ipswich boss since 2012 – gathered his players on the pitch to debrief them right there and then.
"I said that we’ve got to stick together – I was just making sure everybody knows that," McCarthy told the East Anglian Daily Times.
"I don’t doubt for one minute that they’ve got my support and I’ve got theirs. It was a tough old evening, but it’s a matter of sticking together and not fragmenting – because if we do it will really go pear-shaped."
— Daniel Bruce (@DJBruce86) March 13, 2018
The 59-year-old took responsibility for his side's heavy defeat, and reflected: "I thanked them for that and I apologised that it’s probably my presence that caused that atmosphere and they shouldn’t have to play in that. But that’s the way it is at the minute. I want everybody to see that we are one – which we are."
Under McCarthy, Ipswich have finished 14th (he joined in November 2012), 9th, 6th, 7th and 16th. This season the Tractor Boys are 12th with 11 games remaining.
Phil Brown tried a similar tactic back in 2008 when Hull were 4-0 down against Manchester City at half-time, and the Tigers survived relegation that season. His antics were revived in a Jimmy Bullard goal celebration almost a year later - six months before they went down.