Skuse: ‘The gaffer’s contract should have been resolved – for everyone’s sake’
PUBLISHED: 11:34 16 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:41 16 March 2018
Ipswich Town midfielder Cole Skuse believes manager Mick McCarthy’s uncertain future should have been resolved a little while ago.
Following four-and-a-half seasons in charge, McCarthy is set to be out of contract this summer and is yet to speak to owner Marcus Evans about whether he will stay on.
It’s left the Blues boss snapping that he is ‘sick’ of talking about the situation – one that is unlikely to be cleared up in time for the announcement of season ticket prices over the next fortnight.
The long-serving Skuse had to chase up his own contract extension in February as the clock ticked, while last year captain Luke Chambers made no secret of his frustrations when Evans waited ‘until two days before the trigger option on my contract expired before I found out the club wanted me to stay’.
“Maybe the situation with the gaffer’s contract should have been resolved a little while ago but hopefully that will be done for everyone’s sake, including the fans, in due course,” said Skuse, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s Championship game at Bristol City.
“You can understand the fans’ frustrations but if the manager’s contract situation is resolved then everyone’s in the picture, in the clear and we know what’s happening.
“Then we can get our head around things and move on to other situations.”
With Chambers having said last week that the players all wanted McCarthy to stay, his good friend Skuse said: “Chambo, like myself, has been round the block a long time and I can only reiterate what he’s said – we’re all hugely behind him.
“I know people will read the articles and think ‘well, he’s a player, of course he’s going to say that’.
“I’m not just saying it because he brought me to the club and I’ve played a lot of games under him though. It wouldn’t just be the players saying that. If you ask the media staff, the groundsmen, the chef – they would all say how much they are behind the manager. It’s a very tight-knit training ground.”
Boos and chants of ‘get out of our club’ were aimed at McCarthy during Tuesday night’s 3-0 home defeat to Hull City, Skuse adding: “He stands and takes it on the shoulders with his chest out and you have to take your hat off to the man for being as mentally tough as he is.
“He’s a human being and he might have moments where he really thinks about things. You have to walk past the gaffer’s office in the morning and the lads will go in, shake his hand and ask him how he is and he’s honest and open enough to say ‘I woke up on the right side of the bed today’ or to tell us something else.”
Asked if he had any sympathy with the Town fans’ frustrations, the 29-year-old – who has clocked up more than 200 appearances for Town – said: “They pay strong money to come and watch the football club and they want to see the team do well.
“It’s not a cheap day out if you buy a season ticket or come to the game with your kids. They want to come and leave the ground thinking it’s a great team performance with two or three goals.
“You don’t head into a season thinking we would love to finish 12 or scrap out a relegation battle and finish 16th.
“The club as a whole, we set out to try and finish in the top six. But wage structures, financial structures within the club are completely different to Wolves and Fulham and I saw an article where we are being compared to Cardiff on a financial footing.
“They went and signed a striker from Bolton in January (Gary Madine) for £6million and probbaly put him on £25k a week. Could we have gone and done that? I don’t think it’s fair to compare us to Cardiff.
“We don’t want to be mid-table but if we had beaten Hull we would have been what, six points off the play-offs with nine games to go? As it stands we are now nine points off the play-offs with nine games to go and it’s not finished.
“Our goal is to finish in the top six, and I know I’ve gone a long way round to answer, but we don’t want to be in mid-table. But the season as a whole is not a disaster and we’ve had some good recent results.
“We will be trying to do our utmost in the last nine games to get as many points as we can and hopefully do it in an entertaining style. If not, if we grind out results between now and the end of the season we will take that.”