|Burton Albion 1 v 2 Ipswich Town|
Friday, 14th April 2017 Kick-off 19:45
McCarthy: Huge Win and Good Performance
Friday, 14th Apr 2017 23:02
Boss Mick McCarthy hailed the Blues’ 2-1 win at Burton Albion as a “huge win” with the three points all but confirming Town’s Championship status.
“It’s a huge win, it was a good performance by us and an even better result,” he reflected.
McCarthy said he was pleased with his team’s display even if the final minutes were nervy: “As ever we do it the hard way, if we can give a penalty away, they hit the cross-bar and it looks like all and sundry is going on. It just keeps my heart-rate going anyway.”
Regarding the system in which his side started, he added: “We played 4-3-3, I matched them up, I knew they’d be playing 4-3-3 at home and I wasn’t going to get outdone in midfield because Irvine runs from there and he’s particularly good.
“Kightly’s been different class playing in behind Woodrow, so we had to take care of them.
“And then with Didz, Freddie and Tom Lawrence up front, well they’ve got to take care of us, and to be fair I think we did it better than them. It was 4-3-3, another system change, I can’t make my mind up.”
Just before the break, McCarthy switched his formation back what’s been his preferred system: “We matched them up 3-5-2, stopped them playing. And we won.”
McCarthy wouldn’t go as far as saying Town are safe with relegation still mathematically possible but believes that with the Blues 15th, nine points off the bottom three with only four to play, they are virtually there.
“We’re not [absolutely safe], I can’t say that because statistically we’re not and I’d just be stupid if I say that,” he added.
“I don’t think [sides below the Blues] will [catch Town] but am I certain, no I’m not.
“I’m talking about two teams in the bottom three, if they can get nine points and a better goal difference. They’ll have to get 10 points, they’d have to have three wins and a draw to get above us.
“But Wolves are beneath us, QPR are beneath us and Burton and Nottingham Forest. There are a few other sweating tonight like I was when I saw the results coming in today.”
He admitted that results elsewhere in the Championship earlier in the day added pressure for both camps going into the game, although appeared to have more impact on the Brewers.
“When this game was going to be Saturday afternoon we both wanted to change it because we don’t want to play Saturday-Monday, which is just bonkers, which we used to over Easter, of course,” McCarthy said.
“They made it Friday night under lights, it’s always a better atmosphere, you get better performances for whatever reason.
“But maybe it worked against them because Wigan won, Blackburn won, Birmingham drew. Maybe we’ve had all day to think about it.
“Don’t tell me anybody hasn’t been doing that because I have been doing it and maybe they were as well and it added a bit more pressure to them. But our lads have handled it well today, we’ve played well.”
He added: “We were all talking about the fixtures on Monday, these have got Birmingham and Bristol City are up at Blackburn and this might happen and that might happen and I’m saying ‘Hold on a minute, we’ve got the damned hardest game on Monday, we’ve got Newcastle to play, so it might be wise to put it to bed tonight, which I think we probably have'.”
Did McCarthy have any sympathy for ex-Blue Luke Varney for scoring his own goal? “You know where it is in the dictionary, don’t you? It’s between shit and syphilis! I’ve got no sympathy at all.
“Maybe it’s a charitable penny, we put him up for 12 months, we got him fit. I didn’t expect him to score the goal that probably keeps us up though.
“But then he got the penalty. Varns is a wonderful, wonderful lad, I love him to bits. But come on, sympathy? I don’t give it out and I don’t expect it back.”
Did McCarthy feel Burton might have been awarded a penalty when they claimed skipper Luke Chambers had handled in the first half?
“I thought we could have had one as well, to be honest, if he was giving them out," he added. "Let me tell you, he’s disallowed the goal, which was a goal, it wasn’t offside.
“I’ve not come in saying that, but if we’re talking about penalties, there could have been a penalty the other way [when David McGoldrick was shoved over].
“They said there was a dodgy package [which delayed the start of the second half], I said ‘Yes, I know what it is, he disallowed the goal!’.
“It took so long that, what happened with that? It wasn’t offside, no way. I’ve looked at it since and it wasn’t offside.
“So, that’s the game, isn’t it? Maybe it could have been a penalty, it should have been a goal, there could have been another penalty. If my auntie had you-know-what, but we’ve scored two and we’ve won the game, so I’m not really bothered.”
McCarthy had praise for David McGoldrick: “He’s at his pomp again. We all know what a good player he is. He’s had some terrible injuries and it’s cost us, but he’s been very good tonight.”
The Blues boss was also impressed by Myles Kenlock, aside from the penalty he conceded late on.
“He was brilliant and I can’t say dopey in equal measure because he wasn’t, but giving the penalty away, I think he’s working on my ticker, keeping it going.
“He was brilliant, I thought, he had a really good game today, probably as well as he’s played for us.
“But I looked at our full-backs, Josh and him, have had 21 starts between them this year and that’s pretty much all they’ve had in their careers.
“I thought today he’s done really, really well. I thought he was very good, and we’re delighted with him. He’s signed a new contract and he’s developing nicely.”
McCarthy confirmed that the squad suffered no new injuries ahead of Monday’s home game with Newcastle.
Burton manager Nigel Clough felt his team didn't play well enough but might have claimed a point.
“We didn’t play well enough, I’ve complaints about that, and we scored an own goal," he said.
"The crucial first goal was an own goal from a corner. That’s the biggest complaint of the night.
“I thought we possibly deserved a draw. On balance of situations and chances tonight we deserved a draw.”
Clough believed his team ought to have been awarded a first-half penalty for the apparent Chambers handball.
“Yes, it’s sod’s law that we get one when we’re 2-0 down, we’d had one in 67 games before tonight, so that’s two in 68 games now and we get it when we’re 2-0 down. The one in the first half was handball certainly.”
Photo: Action Images
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