Marcus Evans big interview: Why I didn’t spend in January 2015
PUBLISHED: 08:04 30 January 2019
Marcus Evans has regrets about January 2015 – just not necessarily about the transfer window.
The Blues went top of the Championship following a 4-2 victory at Brentford on Boxing Day 2014 and were just a point behind Bournemouth heading into the new year.
Freddie Sears (£100k from Colchester United) was the biggest mid-season acquisition, along with Noel Hunt (Leeds, free), Paddy Kenny (free agent) and Dylan Connolly (Shelbourne, nominal).
Town’s league record in the second half of the campaign read W9 D4 L9, with a sixth-place finish secured thanks to Derby losing on the final weekend. McCarthy’s low budget squad subsequently lost to rivals Norwich City (4-2 on aggregate) in the play-off semi-finals.
Asked if he had any regrets about not strengthening from a position of strength at the halfway point of that campaign, Evans said: “The biggest regret then was when Mick and I sat down and said ‘let’s forget about this Southampton cup tie’, the decision was then made to go for it.
“As we know we then had the two games, (David) McGoldrick got injured in the second game and it tore apart the rest of the season.
“That was a regret that we weren’t a little bit more conservative with our match planning for January that year.
“I was looking to spend money to bolster our position, and I did so to a certain extent, but it is worth bearing in mind that I had already that season provided several players with new and increased value contracts to ensure continuity within the squad and that plan had taken us to the top of the league.
“We were looking for the right players who were available within the financial parameters I had in place. I am sure Mick would have identified some more targets if millions had been available but we did the best we could in what is a very overpriced transfer window.
“If you think about it, we were top, we were doing incredibly well, Daryl (Murphy) was scoring all those goals. We had a settled squad and we wanted to ensure nothing was done which would upset what we had unless it would obviously improve us.
“It wasn’t for lack of looking and lack of trying, and we didn’t want to throw out the dynamic of the dressing room and what we’d created.
“I know fans find it difficult to understand why we didn’t do something at that time, but it wasn’t ‘we don’t want to do it, forget it’. It was thought through.”