Strange Game for McCarthy
Friday, 8th Feb 2013 06:00
Manager Mick McCarthy says it was strange watching the Blues' 4-0 victory over Middlesbrough from his apartment in town last weekend. Flu forced the Town boss, who celebrated his 54th birthday yesterday, to miss a game for the first time in his 21-year management career.
McCarthy said: “It was the first time ever and it was strange. It was stranger still at 4-0 up because I started to feel better.
“I felt like a bit of a fraud at that stage, but there was no chance of being at the game. I’m still suffering the after effects of the flu, but the performance and the result made me feel better.”
He says he saw the game live: “I watched it at the time, I had it streamed through on to my iPad in the apartment in Ipswich. It was a typical Championship game for the first 25 or 30 minutes - it wasn’t going anywhere.
“I said to Terry afterwards that I was screaming at the iPad ‘Come on lads!’. It looked like we could have upped it and that it was a game we could win.
“The game was pretty ordinary with not a lot of chances. And, as is very much the case with Championship football, [it’s important] whoever breaks the deadlock and it was a good delivery and a great header from Tommy.
“We never really looked back. They had one chance just after half-time, which is the usual chance we give every team now, I think.
“And then, after David McGoldrick scored, I don’t think it was ever in doubt after that. It was great to see him score because I think he’s played really well.
“Then Aaron got his goal, and it was done and dusted then when Tommy, with a fabulous header, got the fourth.”
He says he returned to work on Monday with Playford Road upbeat, although he stresses the importance of keeping a level head whatever the weekend result: “When you win it’s always a better place to come into on a Monday morning.
“We’ve had good results, we’ve had a couple of bad ones, if you consider Barnsley here a bad one. I think it was quite a good result, they’re beating everybody else!
“Bristol City away, we actually played really well at Bristol and lost. It’s just a better place to be when you’ve won.
“What I do try to be is fairly consistent, win, lose or draw. If you come in and you’ve lost and everybody’s got a face like a slapped backside and when we’ve won everyone’s dancing around as if we've won the World Cup, that’s not the case.
“We try to have a fairly level, even keel about us all the time. But, it was a lovely performance and a really good result.”
Last week’s win took Town up to 19th, ahead of Bolton and Wolves and McCarthy says the league is becoming ever tighter: “The league keeps concertinaing, doesn’t it?
“Barnsley have had a nice little run, Bristol City have won two on the bounce. Peterborough did it for a while, they beat Wolves, Bolton and Cardiff, we had our nice little run over Christmas, Sheffield Wednesday have just had a nice little run. And while that’s happening the league will forever keep concertinaing.
“We talk about how close we are to the relegation zone, we’re not that far away from the play-off zone.
“I just think that’s the nature of the league and [we need to] just continue to pick up points, pick up enough points to stay in the league.”
He believes the sides that should be most worried are those currently getting drawn towards the bottom of the table: “Somebody once said something to me about trends – which way are you going, up or down?
"There seem to be a few who are spiralling downwards that started off well, and I think that’s a really dangerous position to be in.
“Once you start going in the wrong direction, it’s hard to stop that. And Peterborough, Bristol City, Charlton, Sheffield Wednesday, ourselves, we’ve all had that upsurge and been going in the right direction.
“It really does become difficult to stop when you start going towards that bottom three. And if you drop into it, it really does seem to have a negative effect.”
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