McCarthy told them if they did not pull the fat out of the fire they would have to be back at training on December 27.
“You can imagine what my team talk was like at half-time‚" he said.
"I ain’t scared of anybody in that dressing room and I gave it to them. I told them what they probably needed to hear.
“They can’t take the fans for a joke. There are also hundreds of hungry players looking for a club.
"Our players are so fortunate they have the best job in the world but yet they go and perform the way they did.”
But McCarthy also praised the turnaround.
“Lucky for me‚ I’ve got a lot of honest players in my team‚" he said.