Mick McCarthy is a candidate to replace Neil Lennon at Celtic and Cardiff City skipper Sean Morrison has been full of praise for the remarkable impact he’s made in South Wales, speaking to talkSPORT (3 March, 12pm).
There’s plenty of life left in the barking Barnsley bloodhound.
And while they do say you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, McCarthy’s straight-talking, heart-on-the-sleeve, Ronseal approach to management feels exactly what this Cardiff side needed after the Neil Harris era ended in disappointment.
During little more than six weeks in charge, McCarthy has won seven and drawn three of his ten Championship games, a 4-0 trouncing of Derby County last night further establishing Cardiff as genuine promotion contenders.
So while some at Celtic may feel a tad underwhelmed amid claims suggesting the 62-year-old could replace Lennon at Parkhead – especially with a throng of exciting young coaches linked with the job – you’d be a fool to write off McCarthy at this stage.
“To get 24 points out of a possible 30 is incredible,” says Morrison.
“He came in, he tried to steady the ship and get us away from the relegation zone. He’s given the boys a lot of confidence. He’s changed formation and we’ve really benefited from that.
“We’re scoring goals and we’re keeping them out. We conceded too many silly goals earlier in the season and we’ve got a solid base to build on now.”
Gifting goals to the opposition, an absence of any defensive structure, and a talented squad playing far worse than the sum of their parts, Cardiff’s early-season struggles will feel eerily familiar to Celtic supporters.
If McCarthy could solve those problems in South Wales, it’s difficult to disprove the theory he couldn’t do the same in Glasgow.
“The new gaffer, he’s proven. He has done it for years and years. He’s done an incredible job, put an arm around a few lads who needed some confidence,” Morrison adds.
“We were underperforming massively on the pitch. Mick’s come in and he’s given the group a belief and we’re bouncing off each other now.
“I think you can see with the performances we’d die for each other and we’re running through brick walls for the manager.”
McCarthy’s contract is due to expire in the summer, although you’d imagine if the results keep rolling in an extension won’t be far away (Athletic).