PNE boss Grayson understands McCarthy’s frustration ahead of Ipswich clash

Mick McCarthy
Mick McCarthy
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Simon Grayson says he’s understands the frustrations of his straight-talking opposite number at Ipswich Mick McCarthy.

The Tractor Boys boss turned the air blue after their derby draw with Norwich, surprising reporters with a foul-mouthed rant after the 1-1 stalemate at Portman Road.

McCarthy was angry at his side’s critics with Ipswich, who finished just outside the play-offs last term, having won just one of their opening four Championship games ahead of PNE’s visit to East Anglia on Saturday.

Grayson said: “At home I’m calling everyone every name under the sun who is questioning me.

“But I’m not really one for making things too public where as Mick has been there and done it and probably doesn’t give a monkeys.

“Of course, nobody likes criticism but so many people don’t understand what managers have to go through when they’re picking the team, doing the training sessions, looking at the performances, going through transfer negotiations.

“Everybody thinks they know what’s going on, when ultimately they haven’t got a clue what’s going on behind the scenes.

“It’s just modern-day football I suppose.

“I long to be a manager 30 years ago when nobody could criticise you.”

It is clear Grayson has plenty of respect for the experienced former Wolves, Republic and Ireland and Sunderland boss, who approaching four years in charge at Ipswich has secured three straight top-10 finishes.

The PNE chief said: ““He’s a real good friend is Mick and I like him.

“He’s been there and he’s done it and he does say it how he sees it, probably more so than anybody.

“He calls it as he sees it but it’s hard to believe he’s said those things.

“Mick’s a fantastic bloke though and gets his teams going.

“If somebody upsets him he’ll let them know.”

Grayson doesn’t believe any tension between fans and manager at Portman Road will play into PNE’s hands, quite the opposite, with North End looking to repeat the performance from their 2-0 win at Queens Park Rangers last time out in the Championship.

He said: “Mick will use it as a positive and want to get his team up and prove people wrong and prove that he’s doing the right things.

“I certainly believe he’s doing the right things because he’s got some good players there.

“We will just go there and try and put a performance in like we did last weekend.

“We know we’ll be in for a tough game though.”

Like so many in the Championship the Tractor Boys have lofty ambitions this season, hoping to go one better than a seventh-placed finish last time around, part of the reason for the early season frustration from the fans.

Grayson said: “Ipswich have been a Premier League club in the past and have come back down the Championship and been very close to play-offs and are trying to get back up.

“Full credit to Mick he’s done a fantastic job there.

“When you have success people want even more success and it’s not always easy to replicate because lots of other clubs are trying to do the same.

“He’ll keep working away to do what’s best for the football club, like any manager would.”