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McCarthy Still Unsure of Survival Total
Monday, 8th Apr 2013 06:00

Boss Mick McCarthy is still unsure how many points the Blues will require in order to confirm their Championship status fir 2013/14. Saturday’s last-gasp 1-0 victory over Derby at Pride Park took Town up to 14th in the table on 53 points, six from the drop zone.

“I’m not very good at hard questions,” joked McCarthy when asked how many points would ultimately be required for survival.

“I’ve no idea. I remember when I came into the job in November I thought it would be 50 points because that’s generally the case.

“But it’s looked like it’s going to be more. It has been bonkers, the whole league. We’ve come off when we’ve won and everybody else has won and I said that at some stage that will stop. Not all the bottom teams can keep winning.

“We worked hard, we fought our corner but we got lucky at Derby. Or was it a good [penalty] save? The strike at the end wasn’t lucky, it was a great strike.”

While the Blues were fortunate against the Rams, the rub of the green has gone against them in previous games with McCarthy a firm believer in the old adage that in time these things even themselves out.

“I think it does over a season,” he said. “It’s easy to be magnanimous when I’m sat here and we’ve just won but I did say that when we lost, so I’m not just being smart now.

“I did say that [at Forest] and I did say that when we were at Bristol City and we played ever so well and we didn’t get any luck, but it does change.

“You have to believe that you get a fair ratio of good and bad decisions and good and bad performances when you win and lose.”

Despite admitting that his team’s display was well under par, the spirit he has instilled since he took over at the start of November was again evident.

“They’ve been fabulous, that’s been right through the club since I’ve been here,” he said. “Without that we’d have been out of the league now. The players deserve a huge amount of credit for that, they’ve been excellent.”

Saturday’s fifth clean sheet in a row equalled a club record – the last time Town achieved similar was towards the end of the 1996/97 campaign – and was the seventh time in eight matches that the Blues had prevented the opposition from scoring.

The only goal in that time came from Nottingham Forest, Lewis McGugan's deflected effort when Town were down to nine men. The Blues have also now gone 10 away matches without conceding a first half goal, a new club record.

Given Town’s previous defensive fragility, McCarthy is delighted: “It’s a really good record of clean sheets.

“Somebody can always find the negative in that, someone asked me [last week] about keeping clean sheets – ‘Why don’t you score some goals?’. Well, six 0-0 draws between then and the end of the season, I think we’d stay up with that, so I’ll take three more now.”

Scott Loach has been in goal for the last three clean sheets, having registered another in his previous game, the 4-0 victory over Middlesbrough in February before a thumb injury saw Stephen Henderson return to the side.

The 24-year-old saved his second penalty of the season from Jamie Ward at Pride Park, Huddersfield's James Vaughan having taken the first in the 2-2 draw at Portman Road in September.

McCarthy says Loach watched footage of Derby’s recent spotkicks – Saturday’s miss was their fourth on the trot – on Friday and on the day of the game and he says he is pleased with the former Watford man: “I was delighted with him.

"I was giving him stick for some of his kicks when he kept kicking it out of play, but that’s just me being a pedantic manager and I’ll keep doing it. But he played well.”

Did the result finally mean that the Blues boss can see some light at the end of the tunnel? “I don’t know, but I’ll enjoy my beer tonight.”

Photo: Action Images

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commuterblue added 07:15 - Apr 8
I feel we're going to be safe now. One more win ot a couple of draws.

wkj added 07:46 - Apr 8
because if the sheer amount of teams playing one another I feel 53 is the amount of points 17th will be the total; with our GD 54 will be essential for town but we are one win away from total safety - almost guarantee it- the bookies give us the odds of 33/1 to go down- if you're a betting man Blackburn are 3/1 and I'm going to put £10 on that as I've said for about 4 weeks now on the League calculator thread that BB will drop; gutted for their fans but hopefully that will get Venkys out as they have really hurt not just blackburn but the game itself

wkj added 07:47 - Apr 8
sheer amount of bottom 5 teams playing one another*

Mark added 08:04 - Apr 8
"Saturday’s fifth clean sheet in a row equalled a club record – the last time Town achieved similar was towards the end of the 1996/97 campaign."

That is absolutely outstanding. Credit to the manager, coaching staff and players. In my view: Smith - player of the season, Chambers - permanent signing of the season, Stearman - rival with Campbell for loan signing of the season. Lots of praise for the midfielders and strikers who battled so hard too, especially Hyam.

ipswich61 added 08:18 - Apr 8

Karlosfandangal added 08:19 - Apr 8
Two very hard home games coming up so we may get dragged back in to it.
Last season there was 35 points between 6th and 22 and with Portsmouth going down on 40

Couple of 0-0 draws should do

Must sign Stearman

ManningtreeBlue99 added 08:23 - Apr 8
How I view every players season so far.
Loach: In and out of the side, needs to find confidence.
Henderson: Give this man credit, he rarely let in a goal.
Stearman: A great loan signing, all round good full-back
Smith: Outstanding, player of the season for me.
Chambers: Also outstanding, rarely puts a foot wrong anymore.
Cresswell: Gets up and also back to defend well, good work rate.
JET: Give him time, he has improved recently.
Martin: Not good.
Hyam: Good work effort, poor passing.
N'daw: Loses the ball too much, but often wins it back straight away.
Tabb: Has that qaulity and understanding others do not.
Murphy: Only 6 goals for him is poor, not a great season for him.
McGoldrick: A natural striker.
McLean: Hasn't really been given a chance.
Nouble: He will score goals.
Chopra: Hasnt scored enough.
DJ Campbell: We owe it to him. He won us plenty of matches.

brittaniaman added 08:42 - Apr 8
AS Mick says we Robbed them !!!!!!
Now was it ABR (actual bodily robbery) or GBR (greivous bodily robbery) ???????
Either way it was a massive 3pts.to us !!!! COYBs !!!!

Guthrum added 09:10 - Apr 8
ipswich61 - Don't know why you were down-thumbed, another win and we ARE pretty much safe. Very nearly so already, if Huddersfield, Blackburn and Bristol continue their current form.

We do stand a very decent chance of beating Hull, if you compare our home against their away form (playing quite a similar range of teams). I think we should be looking upwards, not down, to see how far up the table we can climb in the next five games, giving us a great springboard for the summer and next season.

Quite right of McCarthy to be cautious, but we fans are allowed to indulge in a bit of ebullience!

Wickets added 09:22 - Apr 8
Just as long as we go to Burnley 4 points clear of bottom three Mick,Job done. Of course 12 points clear would be better!

itsonlyme added 09:25 - Apr 8
Like most of the posters on here, I believe one more win should see us safe and then perhaps we can play a bit more expansive football in our last two to three games to give us an inkling of how next season could be???

Wickets added 09:34 - Apr 8
Just a word of caution, under George Burley scrapping to avoid second season syndrone and relegation from the prem,if i remember correctly we had had a good run and looked to have a decent chance of avoiding the drop with about 5 games to go!! so lets make sure we get some points from the next 2 games please.

harmitfc added 10:05 - Apr 8
"Championship status fir 2013/14" - a slight bit of Danish creeping in there Phil?

I think Mick should be pleased with how things have gone so far. But he is right to be cautious. My mate, who is a Blackburn fan, said two weeks ago that they had no chance of going down - it is not over until the overweight chanteuse ceases her melodic warbling...

Bergholtblue added 10:07 - Apr 8
Having had another go on the football predictor and this time putting Town to lose all of their next matches, I still don't get them to go down.

As wkj points out, there are a lot of '6 pointer' coming up with teams below us and assuming the likes of Cardiff, Hull and Watford press on for automatic promotion and win their matches (yes, I do realise that all three have stuttered against the bottom clubs lately), there are enough teams below us to keep us out of the relegation zone.

Mind you not counting my chickens just yet I can still see May the 4th being a day of high drama.

fugliblue added 10:08 - Apr 8
9 points from the play offs with a bit of luck maybe just maybe

ippy4life added 10:21 - Apr 8
This is the first thing he has said right, I still think we will be going down. We need to get a lot of new players, especially in defence. We cant rely on Chopra and Martin every game, we are going to get some more experience in the team.

StuartBrett8 added 10:29 - Apr 8
For us to get relegated now would need a monumental F*ck up in the last 5 games, it just wont happen. in BIG Mick we trust :)

PutneyBlue added 10:32 - Apr 8
League 1 play offs next season you mean fugliblue?

SimonthePieman added 10:44 - Apr 8
Over the last eight seasons teams in 22nd place have had anything from 40 points (Portsmouth in 2011/12) to 52 points (Leicester in 2007/08). We should be safe by now but we aren't. My guess is we need 60 points to be sure of safety, so one more win & four draws or a couple of wins & a draw. Simples....

sgtlargent added 10:54 - Apr 8
SimonThePieMan do you actually understand football? what a win is worth and that kind of stuff ? Bristol city can't even reach 60 points and the other two would have to win 4 games and draw 1 to get there , so I think your prediction of 60 points is outrageous.

alexharban added 11:30 - Apr 8
Typo in first line, says fir instead of for

gazzmac4 added 11:39 - Apr 8
"ippy4life added 10:21 - Apr 8. This is the first thing he has said right, I still think we will be going down. We need to get a lot of new players, especially in defence. We cant rely on Chopra and Martin every game, we are going to get some more experience in the team."

Ippy4life i am currently crossing my fingers and praying to the big man (Big Mick obviously!) that you are being wholely sarcastic in this post above. If you arent, perhaps mankind as we know it is doomed!

BigAlwasmyhero added 12:28 - Apr 8
It's always fun trying to weed out the infiltrators within our ranks! Quite obviously another one comes out today...... You're too obvious and no doubt preparing for the end of the season to go out with as many negatives as you can

blockb_steward added 12:46 - Apr 8
Good shout, Big Al.

Ippy4life...just what have you got to be so negative about? MM/TC come in and work miracles with what they were given...perhaps you would like MM walk across the Orwell or turn a pint of Adnams into wine?

Let's draw a line under this awful season...we have so much to be happy about...perhaps you should become BristolCforlife?

We need to be getting behind MM and the team...perhaps we can actually start to enjoy the end of the season once we have netted a few (and it is just a few) more points.


JWM added 12:51 - Apr 8
Ippy4life you have mistyped your username surely it is Budgie4life and with your ignorant comments maybe you need to get one!

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