'He was getting lapped by people... it was disgraceful' - McCarthy on why Peterborough hotshot Marriott left Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 18:50 09 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:58 11 April 2018
Mick McCarthy is pleased to see former Ipswich Town youngster Jack Marriott performing so well but insists it was the right decision to let the striker go following a 'disgraceful' pre-season prior to his departure.
Only Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has scored more goals in the top four divisions of English football than the 26 Marriott has managed for Peterborough this season, with the 23-year-old said to have been subject of interest from West Ham and Crystal Palace in January.
Marriott made just three appearances for the Blues before being allowed to move on in 2015, when he joined Luton, with McCarthy pleased to have seen him forge a career in the professional game.
Recalling the striker’s lack of fitness when he returned to the club for his final pre-season McCarthy insisted it was the right decision to let him go, though.
“I wish the lad well but that decision was made by pretty much everybody, although I take responsibility for it,” McCarthy said.
“There was nobody saying we should keep him and he’s lost about a stone-and-a-half since he was here.
“He came back that pre-season we let him go and he was getting pretty much lapped by people, so I would have to say it was disgraceful that pre-season and he wasn’t fit in any form.
“I said to him when we played them in pre-season (in 2017) after the game – ‘so where’s the other fella, the one who used to train with us, the little fat one’ – and he laughed at me and said ‘alright gaffer, yeah, yeah, yeah.
“Fair play to him, I’m delighted for him. It doesn’t matter to me when it finally cops on, but it has and he’s done brilliantly.
“He wasn’t going to do it here, he had to move and he had to grow up and I’m really happy for him. Congratulations to him.
“I say to all of them when they leave here, go away and play four or five hundred games and then come back and shake my hand and you’re my equal.
“Good luck to him.”
During his time with the Blues, Marriott also had loan spells at Woking, Gillingham, Carlise and Colchester before joining Luton in 2015, where he managed 28 goals over two seasons before earning a £400,000 move to London Road last summer.
At one stage this season a trio of former Ipswich strikers – Marriott, then Rotherham loanee Kieffer Moore and Portsmouth’s Brett Pitman – topped the League One goalscoring charts.
Neither Moore, who returns to the Blues with Barnsley tomorrow night, or Marriott managed a goal for the Blues while Pitman scored 15 during his two seasons at Portman Road before departing last summer.