|Ipswich Town 1 v 3 Queens Park Rangers|
Saturday, 11th January 2014 Kick-off 15:00
McCarthy: We Slightly Gifted Victory to QPR
Saturday, 11th Jan 2014 18:02
Boss Mick McCarthy felt the Blues helped contribute to their own downfall as QPR left Portman Road having won 3-1.
“We were excellent in the first half," he said. "But they had that bit of quality that Niko Kranjcar possessed when he put it in the bottom corner, although we let him wriggle out of a space he should never have got out of, but it was a fantastic finish.
“We had enough defenders there and we had enough chances to have scored and should have done and then they produced the bit of quality.
“I thought we started the second half well, to be honest, but the goal, and then certainly the second, killed us.
“Gerks has come in and apologised, he palmed it into his path, he should have cleared it. But he’s been magnificent, he has.
“What they’ve got was Gary O’Neil, who ran in, followed it in and put it in the net. There’s a lesson from it, follow things in, hit the target.”
He felt his team played as well as for a while in the first half: “I thought we played really well. I thought they all played particularly well in the first half, it was a good performance.
“We let them off the hook, they got the goal, it changed the course of the game. I thought we’d settled down and it didn’t look like they were going to get another one until one of our star players this month is saying has palmed it back into his path. When you see it, he probably has, but that happens.”
Despite the quality of Tommy Smith’s late goal, McCarthy says it won’t be winning any goal of the season competitions: “Not when you’re 3-0 down, it’s not. The one that’s a little bobbly one that wins you a game 1-0 is the goal of the season.
“It was a great finish, he deserved it because he’s been great and he was upset about the third goal, which put a gloss on the game for them that really shouldn’t have been there.”
Having gone 3-0 behind, somewhat harshly, the Town boss was pleased with his players’ spirit: “I think the lads are great.
"I’m immensely proud of them, the way we played in the first half, playing against a team who were supposedly the favourites, and probably still are, to go up along with Leicester with the squad that they’ve got.
“I thought we dominated the first half and I thought we played well there, but it doesn’t matter unless you score the goals, get a win.”
He says the squad feel they ought to have got something from both their games against QPR, having fallen to last-gasp 1-0 defeat at Loftus Road in August: “They do, but ifs, buts and maybes don’t really count for anything, it’s doing it.
“We’ve just been on a great unbeaten run but it’s ended and it’s ended with one of the best teams in the league, and slightly gifted by us. We crack on, we start again.”
Skipper Luke Chambers was replaced by Tyrone Mings, who again impressed his boss, in the closing stages, but McCarthy says there’s no serious injury problem: “Chambo went off but I just asked him and he said he was OK, he just got a kick and he’ll be fine.
“We’ve got five defenders, Tyrone Mings is the cover for all four positions, he’s good cover for all four positions.
“I took Luke Hyam off because he’d been booked and the ref had threatened him [that he might get another], so it was sod’s law that he might make a silly little trip and get sent off.”
Despite his veteran status and primary role as an academy coach, McCarthy says 35-year-old Alan Lee, a sub today, may well be called on again during the remaining months of the campaign.
“Alan will be in the squad for the next five months,” he said. “He trains with us, he trains well and if I need to use him, I will.”
QPR assistant manager Kevin Bond admitted that his side were second best before the break: “In the end it was very pleasing, it certainly didn’t start out that way. Ipswich started very brightly and had a couple of really good opportunities.
“We came back into the game late in the first half, had a couple of chances and we were much better in the second half.
“It was nice, we’ve found goals hard to come by, so to get three was excellent, a really pleasing day for us.
“We knew it was going to be a really difficult game for us, they were on a terrific run, they’re always hard to beat, so it was a big, big win for us today.”
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