By Paul Jones
Under fire Cardiff City boss Mick McCarthy admitted he rang up Steve Bruce before his 1,000th game as a manger because he wanted “to speak to someone who is feeling worse than me”.
For Bruce it was 1,000 and out after the 3-2 home defeat for Newcastle United against Spurs and McCarthy could well follow him onto the dole queue if his side suffers an eighth successive defeat to Middlesbrough on Saturday.
“I spoke to Steve the week before and I actually rang him because I thought I’d find someone who is feeling worse than me. He was top of my list,” said McCarthy.
“Steve is from Newcastle, he lives there and he and his family are Newcastle fans, so it must be difficult for him because that’s where he’s from.
“I’m great, apart from the football results, which are 90% of my life. I’m holding up and I can see the wood from the trees.“I don’t let it bog me down. If effects me, of course it does, and it annoys and upsets me at the time, but I’ve been doing this a long time and I know how to cope with it.”
Everything started so well for the former Republic of Ireland manager with an 11 match unbeaten run after taking over the reins from Neil Harris nine months ago.
He hoisted Cardiff up to 10th place last season, but now finds his side floundering in 21st, two points above the relegation zone.
But the fans have been calling for his head and the board were believed to have given him the two games this week to turn things around. They lost 2-0 at Fulham on Wednesday night and host Middlesbrough today seeking a first home win since 21 August.
Mick McCarthy’s leaving-do 2021
— Sam Webb (@samwebb27) October 23, 2021
“We’re in a relegation battle, aren’t we, and it’s down to me and the players to get out of it. I carry the can and I’m not laying any blame on the players,” said McCarthy.
“They go out and do what I ask them to do to the best of their ability. If it doesn’t work out then I take it as the manager.”
An eighth defeat in a row could well end in the City board removing McCarthy from the post he took over from Neil Harris in January, but the former Republic of Ireland skipper and manager claims that doesn’t make him nervous.
So does he feel another defeat will lead to him getting the sack?
“I can’t answer that question. I just have to concentrate on the game and try to get a good performance out of the lads,” he added.
“If we do, then we’ll win the game, and if we don’t then I’ll be on the end of another defeat and I will be in trouble, won’t I.
“When you are losing games you know what people are going to be saying. Everybody else keeps building this up to be my last game, but I have no idea. I can’t tell you.
“There are no extra nerves for me. I can’t do anything about that and I’ve learned not to let that affect me.
Me at 5PM tomorrow when Mick McCarthy drops the post match interview after losing 0-2. pic.twitter.com/Yqax8komrO
— Dean (@roodskins) October 23, 2021
“I do my best and I’ve got a great support network around me with my wife, family and my mates. It’s tough, but you’ve got to carry on with your life.
“The mood in the camp is OK. I always maintain my consistency in how I behave and how I treat people – if we win I’m not singing and dancing around, and if we lose I’m not under the table sulking.
“The players aren’t walking around on eggshells around me wondering what I’m going to do. If the mood in the camp wasn’t good we wouldn’t have got that performance at Fulham.
“I can’t make us win, but I will try to make sure we get a good performance. If the fans are here I hope they enjoy it and if not, I hope they can be enticed to come back.
“I don’t listen to all the noise going on around me. I don’t go looking to see what people are writing about me, I’m not on social media and I don’t listening to sports programmes talking about what’s happening at Cardiff.
Cardiff are riding the longest losing streak in the Top 4 English leagues (7 games) 📉
Their numbers during the run:
– 1 goal scored
– 17 goals allowed
– 7 big chances
– 7 big chances missed pic.twitter.com/1CFZDAefJh
— Matchday365 (@Matchday365) October 22, 2021
“That keeps me immune from everyone else’s opinion, because I’m not really bothered about anyone’s else’s opinion. It is the opinion of myself, Terry Connor, the players and the staff that concerns me.
“When I’m at the stadium, I get it – if you’re winning you get the plaudits, if not, you get the stick. I get that, I’ve been doing this for long enough.
“If you let everything bother you then your life will be difficult as well. It’s trying to find the answer and getting the result.
“At the moment we’re not doing that, so it’s tough.”