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McCarthy lifts lid on his Premier League signings

Mick McCarthy has admitted some of the signings he made late in his tenure as Wolves manager were detrimental to the club as it affected the ‘ethos’ in the dressing room.

The former boss will be the latest hero to feature on Wolves’ official Old Gold Club podcast as he gives an in-depth look behind the curtain of his six seasons in charge at Molineux.

The episode will be broadcast during a half hour Facebook and YouTube video this evening at 6pm, before an extended podcast is released on the official Wolves App, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all other podcast apps.

Here are just a few short snippets of what McCarthy says during the bumper 90-minute episode – one not to be missed.

On ‘Merlin the Magician’ nickname

“I walked into a really big club which was languishing. People were expecting us to get relegated. But the press conference was all talking about how big a club it was and about getting back to the Premier League.

“I’ve walked into a club where there were all sorts going on and I’d only got about ten players at the time, and the press were all like ‘I’m going to turn the club around, there and then’.

“That’s when I said ‘hold on a minute, it’s Mick McCarthy, not Merlin the Magician’. But all the players we brought it, turned it around and we ended up in the play-offs that year.”

On Premier League signings

“The recruitment turned out not to be great. Roger Johnson, Nenad Milijas, Jelle Van Damme, Jamie O'Hara.

“I'm thinking we're signing better players, we all thought it, but they weren't better than Christophe Berra, David Jones. Roger Johnson was nowhere near better than Christophe Berra, Jamie O'Hara was nowhere near the lads we'd already got.

“I would commend the likes of David Jones, Christophe Berra who lost their positions and their personalities were still the same and supporting what we were trying to do.

“In some respects, made us worse because the dressing room lost a bit of the ethos we had for five years. That's sad but it was all done for the right reasons. It didn't work.”

On making Roger Johnson captain

“I thought it was the right decision, it just turned out to be the wrong decision to make Roger Johnson the captain instead of him [Karl Henry]. That was a wrong decision in my view. I've made some good and some bad through my career.

I don't regret doing it because I thought it was the right thing to do. [Henry] questioned my authority at the end of the season prior, to the extent he wasn't going to be the captain for doing that.

“He still played in the team, but my captain, as Karl had done for four or five years prior to that, was being my stalwart, backing everything I'd done and banging the drum for what we're doing, not for what the players wanted.”

On getting the sack at Wolves

“It was no surprise. One of my biggest regrets was I had to walk out the back door, because there were people waiting to give me abuse. But I understand that, it's West Brom, the big enemy.

“Jez came in. If he'd come in with a hood and scythe it would have been appropriate. It was like 'Mick can I have a word?'. The temperature dropped, we all knew it was happening. Jez told me with a heavy heart, he didn't want that to be happening.

“The guys hadn't stopped fighting for me, they hadn't dropped tools. Some of the lads were in tears about it, the spirit was still there, but we weren't getting results.

“We'd had five-and-a-half years of pretty much success, staying in the league was success with the budget we'd had.”

On Terry Connor taking over

“TC had got the sack with me. TC’s boxes and bags were packed at the side of his desk and he was out the door with me. For whatever reason, no manager was appointed, and they gave it TC and asked him to do it.

“I rang him up and said ‘go for it mate, crack on’. I said ‘the very best of luck with it, if I can help, by all means’. He didn’t call me for help and I didn’t expect he would because he wanted to paddle his own canoe.

“TC’s a really good coach, he’s a better coach than me, but the management - having done it for 20-odd years - I’m better at that side of it than he is. Collectively, we’re a really good partnership.”

McCarthy’s episode of the Old Gold Club will be broadcast on FacebookYouTube and Twitter from 6pm on Wednesday evening, while the full podcast will be available on all the regular channels afterwards.

The first 20 episodes of the podcast, where guests included Carl Ikeme, Kenny Hibbitt, David Kelly, Matt Jarvis, John Richards, George Elokobi, Steve Daley and Rob Edwards are also available to listen back on iTunes by clicking here or Spotify here.

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