Mick McCarthy likes to speak his mind but the Wolverhampton Wanderers manager took his reputation for straight-talking to a new level yesterday, when he laid bare his torment at being in charge of a team that is bottom of the Premier League.
McCarthy talked at length about the support he continues to receive from the Wolves board and his belief that "the players would never throw in the towel" when he was asked whether he was aware of the goodwill there is towards him.
It was an invitation for the Wolves manager, ahead of tonight's match at Liverpool, to deliver a brutally honest, expletive-laden response that suggests life at the foot of the table is every bit as miserable as it looks, and that with the damaging defeat at home to Wigan Athletic on Boxing Day still fresh in the mind, now is not the time to offer to put an arm around the Yorkshireman.
"Look, I appreciate the sentiments," McCarthy said. "How long have you lot [the Midlands press] known me? Am I going to wallow in some sympathetic fucking syrup like this when I'm bottom of the fucking league? If it ends in tears then some of you might say: 'He was a nice fella and he did a good job.' But I'm not getting involved in this shit and caramel. We are bottom of the fucking league, we got slapped on Sunday and we were shit. I know it. You lot know it. Thank God I'm not 11th or 12th, I'd be out of a job."
McCarthy's answer was much more entertaining than anything Wolves served up on the pitch against Wigan Athletic, when they started the game knowing that a win would lift them out of the relegation zone but finished it being booed off and anchored to the bottom.
"We can get out of this," said McCarthy, who hopes to sign either Middlesbrough's David Wheater or Aston Villa's Curtis Davies to address his problems in central defence. "I have confidence because of the players. There's no question that anyone will be throwing the towel in or packing it in, or thinking that this can't be done."
The Wolves manager admits he has spent some time looking in the mirror, but other than tweaking his tactics, he has no plans to change. "You try to find any way to get a result. But I won't change the fundamentals of what I am. I've been doing it for 20 years. I might not have Sir Alex Ferguson's success rate, but it has done me all right."
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