The former Republic of Ireland head coach Mick McCarthy has today (Thursday 19th January) been named as the new Blackpool manager. 63-year-old McCarthy was the bookies clear favourite to take over at Bloomfield Road following Michael Appleton’s departure on Wednesday afternoon. The 47-year-old Appleton took charge of 29 matches in all competitions, but was victorious just seven times, with a win percentage of 24.1 per cent at the end of his tenure. In contrast, throughout his 21-year managerial career, McCarthy has managed over 1,000 games and boasts a win rate of 38.56 per cent.
Well respected within the game, McCarthy also had a successful playing career with the likes of Barnsley, Manchester City and Celtic. Terry Connor will also be joining the Club as McCarthy’s assistant at Bloomfield Road. The pair have worked together for many years at the likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Ipswich Town and Republic of Ireland.
Blackpool owner Simon Sadler is demanding that his new head coach immediately arrests the slide that Blackpool find themselves on. Therefore, he wants McCarthy to be in place for Saturday afternoon’s vital relegation battle against Huddersfield. Currently, both sides are firmly in the relegation zone. The Seasiders then travel to face Premier club Southampton in the fourth round of the FA Cup on 28th January. The club says that tickets for the trip to Southampton go on sale to season ticket holders and members tomorrow (Friday 20th January).
McCarthy in his last spell in club management at then struggling Cardiff got them to eighth place in the Championship in just a few months in charge. He even won the Championship Manager of the Month award following a six-game winning streak. However, he then lasted just 10 months before a poor run of form resulted in him leaving via mutual consent. Previously he had won the Championship twice – with Sunderland in 2004/05 and Wolves in 2008/09. He began his managerial career in 1992 at Millwall before succeeding Jack Charlton as Republic of Ireland manager four years later. He led Ireland to qualification for the 2002 FIFA World Cup where Ireland made it to the round of 16 before losing to Spain on penalties. Shortly after the World Cup, McCarthy left the Ireland job and took over at Sunderland. Six-year spells at Wolves and Ipswich followed before McCarthy returned to the Ireland role in 2018.
Former Blackpool midfielder Charlie Adam said, ‘If Mick does take the job, Blackpool will be gaining someone who has won promotions and has a wealth of experience. It’s not a bad change; hopefully, they can get some results and escape the relegation zone. If it is Mick who takes the job then that’s perfect.’
However, not all fans are happy. Brian Hankey said, ‘Another wonderful appointment. There must be hundreds of supporters around the country wondering how Blackpool have managed this audacious signing of a manager who has been out of work for over 12 months and was dismissed from his last post because of poor results. Beggars’ belief!’
Let’s hope he can hit get the lads back on winning form and the back of the net at Blackpool!