Cardiff City manager Mick McCarthy will be hoping his side can continue their fine start to the season when they take on Bristol City in the 'Severnside derby' this weekend, but insists it's a case of one game at a time for the Bluebirds.
Cardiff sit sixth in the table and will have a chance to go top with three points in the early kick-off, having won two and drawn two of their opening four Sky Bet Championship fixtures.
Speaking as a special guest on the latest episode of the Official EFL Podcast, McCarthy says that while he's pleased with his side's early form, he won't be looking beyond their next test.
“I’m not getting carried away," he said. "I know we’re unbeaten but won’t be disrespectful to any of our opponents. The Championship is one hell of a tough division and every single game has been tough. I’ve watched Bournemouth, West Brom and Fulham and Birmingham have started really well too, it’s just a tough division. I’d like to remain unbeaten and win on Saturday, but won’t be looking any further than that.
“It’s great here, and great to have the fans back in too. We had 18,000 on Saturday and got a fantastic win. You need to win games in this job and get as many points as you can, so I hope everyone went home happy, because I certainly did.
“The last 18 months have been very eventful but I’ve been very fortunate because I’ve got a job and I’ve not been locked up or locked away, I’ve been able to get out and about to do what I do. Whenever you’ve lost a job, you’re always concerned you won’t get another one, and that goes for every manager."
McCarthy is approaching the incredible milestone of 30 years in management and, with hundreds of games already under his belt, has just about seen it all.
The 62-year-old says plenty has changed since he first started out, but that he still relies on his gut when making decisions from the touchline, together with his trusty backroom staff.
“We use fitness coaches, strength and conditioning coaches and analysts far more than we’ve ever done. I still put a lot of emphasis on instinct though, I’d say," added the Cardiff boss. "Terry [Connor] is brilliant with the stats too; if anything needs to be brought to my attention, it’s shown to me. I’m usually not far out, just by watching the game.
“I guess there is a formula, although I’ve never sat down and worked it out! I’m brutally honest with people, players and staff and will always say it as it is. I use the word 'purposeful' now because I got told off by Tony Pulis for saying the word 'pragmatic'! I thrive on trying to get the best out of people and have been very fortunate to have two very top coaches with me. Terry has been fabulous.
“Clearly, I haven’t done everything right… I’ve made mistakes. Hopefully, I’ve rectified them by the way we play, decisions I’ve made on players, everything that goes with management. I’ll always have a look at myself, by all means."
You can listen to the full episode here.