Sky Sports EFL pundit Andy Hinchcliffe has heaped praise on Cardiff City manager Mick McCarthy and suggested he has been fully deserving of the new two-year deal he has signed with the Bluebirds.
McCarthy arrived at Cardiff with the club sat in 15th place in the Championship table after a challenging start to the campaign under Neil Harris. However, since then he has guided the Bluebirds to a remarkable 11 game unbeaten run to transform their season and get them right back into the race for a place in the play-offs for the second successive season.
Cardiff made the decision to hand McCarthy a new two-year contract amid that excellent run of form, having initially appointed him on a short-term deal until the end of the campaign. The former Ipswich Town manager though has re-established his reputation and will now be hoping to pull off the third promotion to the Premier League in his career.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ latest EFL Podcast, Hinchcliffe outlined that he believes McCarthy fully deserves the new deal he has been handed at Cardiff and praised the way he has been patient and looked to prove his quality as a coach to the club.
He said: “What an astonishing impact he’s had, and you see it with these kind of coaches, experienced coaches that know what they can do like Mick McCarthy and like maybe Marcelo Bielsa. They’re not in any rush to get a new contract signed.
“Bielsa said the same thing about his contract at Leeds. I’m gonna prove myself if I need to to myself and to the owners that I deserve another contract and we’ll just wait until it’s right.
“Clearly with what had happened at Cardiff, they didn’t maybe wanna lose Mick if they didn’t get him tied down with what he’s achieved at Cardiff other clubs could come in and say wow we didn’t realise Mick could still do this because he went off to Cyprus and them maybe people thought he’s in the twilight of his coaching career and he’s not really interested in the cut and thrust of football in England and certainly the Championship.
“But again he’s proved his passion, his desire, his ability to again get a team playing for him. He’s changed the shape of the team he’s got really attractive attackers in that side, but they’re incredibly strong defensively.
“He’s done everything that we expected him to do and he’s grinding out results in many many different ways and Kieffer Moore must be loving working with him. But he fully deserves this extra kinda contract that he’s getting and he’s worked and he’s made Cardiff play-off contenders which they clearly weren’t before he went there.”
McCarthy was not a roundly popular choice for the job when Cardiff handed him the reigns until the end of the campaign. However, he has demonstrated that perceptions of his career maybe coming to an end have been well wide of the mark as Hinchcliffe alluded to here.
He has the experience that could prove to be vital in the end-of-season run-in for the Bluebirds and you feel it was the best decision all around to hand him a new deal to avoid any potential distractions over his long-term future.
Taking Cardiff up from the position they were in when he took over would be arguably his greatest achievement to date as a manager. That would be something considering he has gained promotion twice before with Sunderland and Wolves.