Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy insisted that he is saddened by the plight that his former club Sunderland AFC are having, after their chances of a double relegation increased on Saturday with a 2-0 defeat to The Tractor Boys.
Know how hard it is to turn it around
McCarthy had some of the best moments of his managerial career during his time at The Stadium of Light which included a Championship title and a FA Cup semi-final, a lot has changed since the Yorkshireman left the club in 2006 but 12 years on The Black Cats still find themselves in turmoil.
New coach Chris Coleman bolstered his side with a number of deadline day signings to help in their survival battle, and for the first 30 minutes in Saturday's clash their new additions proved to be a masterstroke with Ashley Fletcher looking influential and Ovie Ejaria going close.
But once again The Black Cats were pushed aside with Joe Garner opening the scoring ten minutes from the break before an own goal from Adam Matthews right at the death sealed their fate, Coleman shared his disappointment with the result post-match and McCarthy admitted that it is "sad to see" the state of his former stomping ground.
"I have no sympathy for anybody," McCarthy told his post-match press conference. "Regardless of who I or my teams play against, and I’ve always been the same."
"We all want to win for our team," the coach stated. "I am sad to see the plight this club is in and I know how hard it is to turn around."
"I had it myself when I was here," McCarthy admitted. "It’s like trying to turn round an oil tanker with a canoe paddle in your hand."
Took it on the chin
Victory for The Tractors Boys solidified their comfy position in mid-table but there was a player on the pitch that was looking to prove a point to their manager, and the man was striker Freddie Sears.
It hasn't been an easy ride for Sears having been physically drained of confidence during his 29-game run without a goal, he scored midweek in the Under-23 clash with Millwall which saw him rewarded with his first senior start since Boxing Day.
Though it was Mathews who turned home the second goal Sears seemed to get the final Ipswich which showed in his celebrations, and McCarthy praised his efforts and professionalism to come back into the starting XI.
“We are trying to give it to Freddie but apparently the ‘special goals panel’ say it’s an own goal,” he said on Sears' performance. “Nevertheless he was there and trying to put it in."
“That (the celebrations) just shows the level of team spirit in our squad and the camaraderie that’s there," the Irishman proclaimed. "They are a great bunch, they are fantastic lads and it was nice to see that.”
“Freddie played in the 23s this week," the coach highlighted. "I didn’t phone him on the Sunday to tell him he was playing because I didn’t want to piss his Sunday and his Monday off! I thought I’ll wait and tell him Monday morning when he comes in for training!"
"I did piss him off, I have to be honest," McCarthy concluded. "He wasn’t happy, but he then went ‘alright’ and went and played properly."