Cardiff City midfielder Will Vaulks has revealed that Mick McCarthy has made Cardiff City a better place to play since replacing Neil Harris as manager.
Harris was sacked midway through January after overseeing a poor run of form, and he left the Welsh capital not long after bringing in his own mid-season signings in the form of Perry Ng and Max Watters.
Vincent Tan believed a change was needed though, and he quickly found his new man with McCarthy and his trusty assistant Terry Connor arriving until the end of the season, not long after parting company with Cypriot side APOEL Nicosia.
The reaction to McCarthy’s arrival was quite critical, with many Cardiff fans believing they could aim higher than just settling for the former Republic of Ireland, Wolves and Ipswich boss.
But with the Bluebirds unbeaten in three games since McCarthy’s appointment, the grey cloud hanging over the Cardiff City Stadium has been lifted somewhat.
Speaking to Dai Sport, Vaulks has explained that lots of little things that McCarthy has done have all combined to create a positive outcome and how it sets him apart from his predecessor.
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“Everyone is more happy and I think happy players make better players,” said Vaulks.
“He’s not afraid to say what he thinks, but he will also encourage you and say, ‘you’ve been brilliant but you could do better in this.’
“So far, I’d say it’s his man-management skills that have lifted us.
“We’re told what to do and if we do that then he’s happy. We are happy as players, too.
“Since he came in he’s expected you to be the best you can be, do what you’re good at, and he’ll take care of everything else.”
Vaulks also added that McCarthy ‘knows what he’s doing tactically’ specifically pointing out his decision to bring on defender Sean Morrison at 2-1 down away at Barnsley for midfielder Leandro Bacuna and switching systems, which led to the Bluebirds securing an equaliser.
From what Vaulks is saying, it sounds like the players may have lost some confidence in Neil Harris towards the end of his reign.
It clearly hasn’t taken much to get them firing again, as they overturned a two-goal deficit at Barnsley and beat rivals Bristol City away from home.
A cynical person would suggest that Vaulks was taking some thinly-veiled digs at Harris’ work, and to be fair with the squad the Bluebirds have on paper, they should have been higher than the 15th position that the former boss left them in.