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McCarthy: Game Was a Damp Squib
Wednesday, 14th Jan 2015 23:26

Boss Mick McCarthy felt the Blues 1-0 FA Cup third round replay defeat to Southampton was a damp squib with the Saints comfortable victors at Portman Road. Shane Long netted the game’s only goal in the 19th minute.

“I’m always disappointed when I lose but the game was a damp squib,” McCarthy said. “We were OK until they scored and I think they then killed the game.

“They’re a good Premier League side. They’ve only conceded 15 goals in the Premier League against teams better than us.

“They didn’t give us many chances, I don’t think either goalkeeper has been worked too much, to be honest. They got the goal and they’ve killed the game.”

He added: “It’s disappointing for us all. Somebody said to me after Saturday that they were really disappointed. Well, we all are.

“We didn’t want that game to be like that. We wanted it to be a rip-roaring cup tie they didn’t allow it to happen.

“Maybe we should give a bit of credit to them. It’s not always us who is to blame. We have tried our hardest, as we always do.

“They’re a damn good side and I watched them beat Arsenal, I watched them beat Manchester United, so it’s no great shame on us that we’ve lost to Southampton, the pity is that we didn’t really have an exciting cup tie that we were hoping for.”

He says his players should have benefited from their two matches against the high-flying Saints: “I think whichever game you’re playing in there should be something learned from it. I think we’ve seen that they are a very good side.

“And I’m sure, and I know as a player, if I’ve played against good players, better players, somebody who did something, whatever it might be, I would have picked something up on the way.

“I would hope all my players have, and I’ve no doubt they have. Probably how bloody tough it is playing against Premier League teams.”

McCarthy was impressed with Kevin Bru’s display in central midfield: “Excellent, I’m really pleased with Kevin.

“He and Balint Bajner walked in the door in pre-season, two free transfers, two free agents. Balint hasn’t done as well as Kevin has, but Kevin’s been excellent whenever he’s been asked to play. I’m really pleased with him.”

The Blues manager says he’s not concerned by striker David McGoldrick’s current lack of goals, believing the Ireland international is still playing well and that he’ll start hitting the net again soon.

“I bet if you interview Murph he can’t tell you why they’re going in except for the fact that he practises it and he works at it, but so does Didz,” he continued.

“It’s difficult when it’s just not going for you. Something will change for him because he’s such a good player. He’ll get his goal and it’ll come again.

“He’s still putting his shift in, he’s still playing well, he’s just not getting his goals. But he will.

“And you know what? It might be Murph that dries up a little bit and we’re relying on David McGoldrick coming good again with his goals. He’s playing well, but he’s just not getting the goals he deserves.”

He says McGoldrick was substituted as a precaution: “You saw him take a knock on his foot.

“Murph had had a cut head, that’s no problem, you can play with stitches in your head, but I certainly didn’t want to risk David McGoldrick making it worse whatever he might do to make it worse. I haven’t had an update on it, I’ll have to go down and see.”

McCarthy is hopeful that his ill midfield trio will be OK for Saturday’s visit to Millwall: “They’re still poorly, they’re not here today, Tabby, Cole Skuse, Teddy Bishop, they’ve still got that virus.

“I’m hopeful they’ll be OK for Saturday, but I don’t know yet, which is my concern now. I can’t do anything about this one.”

He doesn’t expect his players to be affected by the back to back defeats: “I’m concerned when I’m asked questions like that, it’s a bit like we’re questioning players all the time, it’s like we’re just so weak-minded that we can’t cope when we get beaten.

“We were beaten by a good side on Saturday, it was just a mistake, and I’m pretty pragmatic about that.

“Hey ho, we’ve won some games when other teams have made mistakes. And I think we’ve competed against Southampton today, third in the Premier League.

“It’s a different game against Millwall on Saturday, they’ve been up to Bradford, I see they’ve been beaten 4-0 and they’ve had to travel. Who knows what the mood in their camp is like. Ours is pretty good, despite the defeats.”

Regarding his Millwall opposite number Ian Holloway, he says he knows what it’s like to be in his current position: “None of us want to be there. They keep saying that this is a tough league to get out of, it’s fairly easy to get out of it at the bottom end, let me tell you because it’s really competitive.

“I feel for Ollie, I’ve been there at the bottom of this league, the Premier League and it’s tough, the spotlight is on you, but he’s a good manager. I hope he’s OK.”

Saints boss Ronald Koeman said: “I think it was a very serious performance tonight. We were lucky that we scored from our first chance that we got in the game.

“After that, we defended well, there was good organisation in the team. I think we had some good opportunities in the second half, in the first 10 or 15 minutes, to create something more out of that counter-attacking.

“But I’m proud of the team, the players. It was difficult, it was a typical English cup game, long balls, battles, but a great performance from the lads and that’s very positive.”

Photo: Action Images

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bluefeast added 23:31 - Jan 14
It was a terrible performance by us ,no control or touch or vision from midfield ,nobody to inject a spark .We all saw the game its pointless moaning about individuals, they know who they are , we know who they are too .

bluefeast added 23:36 - Jan 14
MM is far more emotionally balanced than i am. If i won the lottery it would be the house the cars the women casinos, holidays etc. Mick would simply say , ive got more dough than i had yesterday ,but tomorrow i may have less.

Popeye added 23:37 - Jan 14
Damp Squid! Even MM is doing fish based puns now!

bluefeast added 23:41 - Jan 14
Popeye , great comment that , he knows his PLAICE does Mick....

Warkys_Tash added 23:50 - Jan 14
You are not wrong there Mick, it certainly was. Hey-ho, let's get up & at Millwall on sat, work hard & hope to come away with a vital win. But if we just turn up, we will get nothing. I would like to see Chambers & Hyam rested as they look particularly jaded. Bru was class tonight. Let's hope MM reverts back to a 3 upfront, with Mings & Parr pushing up.

EssexTractor added 23:54 - Jan 14
21 st century football is a big part of the entertainment business. And after years in the wilderness .Itfc were again in the national spotlight, BBC1 cameras no less. All the top journalists there.
A full,house. So lads go show what you are made of , go down maybe , but go down fighting. Make sure those £10 ers come back
But no it was a damp squib
No entertainment.
Zero excitement
How many of those " supporters" for the night will be there next time?
And despite what else has been achieved this season, against albeit inferior opposition, tonight was a terrible failure in " public relations
we don't mind losing Mick to better teams but are we wrong to expect more than that insipid lack lustre performance that your selection served up tonight
Ok rant over...the Mighty Den beckons.
The real test begins now.

Karlosfandangal added 23:54 - Jan 14
£35 a ticket for a championship match, well the last two games are really going to get the fans flocking back.

Why do we just huff it up front and then if we manage to control the ball do we go all the way back to the keeper for him to huff it up front.

We may get out of this league but God help us if we do

Spalderz added 00:15 - Jan 15
Some people on here need to remember we're still 3rd in the league, only 1 point behind 1st and that we lost to a team 3rd in the premiership tonight..

SohoBlue added 00:22 - Jan 15
It wasn't pretty! Gusty conditions and nervy first touches. We missed players, yes, Some looked out of sorts, but neither team played fluid football - the Saints certainly didn't enjoy playing us - even though we were below par. Its sad for the fans who turned up, and the spectacle of A TV game, but let's get real, it's not the end of the world. No shame in the result as the Saints are well drilled. Regroup and go again.
COYB - keep building, we're going in the right direction.

Garv added 00:36 - Jan 15
McCarthy spoke so much about not wanting extra time I don't think the players were all that bothered about getting an equaliser in the end. Even against a premier league side we didn't put enough pressure on imo.

Hegansheroes added 02:27 - Jan 15
Bru was one of a very few players who did himself any justice tonight. Sorry MM but that will not get the crowds back to PR & unfortunately MM seems to only know one way to play

oldtimer3 added 03:34 - Jan 15
Not sure what people expected did you see Southhampton keep the likes of rooney, van perie ect quite at the weekend they didnt bother the goalie at all at least we scored a tight disallowed goal. That wind didnt help. onward and upward

battyblue added 06:03 - Jan 15
why do we put Bart under pressure with stupid back passes from the halfway line thought Parr did well should keep his place Bru also Berra solid as normal Ambrose first half done well Hyam same as Saturday watched him intently never carried the ball forward passed the ball back to halfway or the keeper from attacking positions gave away the ball to often when Bishop Skuse come back should be dropped. defensively thought we done well except for the goal still lacking in midfield nobody wants to run at the oppositions defense put them under pressure its got to be passed every time lets hope we get someone in with some pace now Sammon has gone.

prebbs007 added 06:54 - Jan 15
Let's hope some good can come out of the whole thing. It wasn't a great game but if MM can use what he has learnt to make us better then that's a good thing. He must have learnt that our midfield is not good enough for league 1 let alone championship or premier league. Hyam is an embarrassment. He was so poor last night and against Derby it was a joke. I don't care about "he's one of our own" he's useless. S. Hunt is another who is nowhere near this level, runs around like a headless chicken but produces nothing and has a shocking touch. Ambrose too I'm afraid not good enough. Bru was excellent and was the only one to try to play football. Defensively we were caught out by midfield runs and reverted to hoofing it up towards a very out of sorts Murphy who has looked a shadow of this seasons top scorer in the division in the 2 big TV games. I hope he doesn't slip back to the previous Daryl Murphy. Perhaps the bang on the head affected him. We looked better when we went 3 at the back as it gave Parr & Mings the chance to give us pace out wide which we drastically lack. Overall we need a creative midfielder (Toszer from Watford the best midfielder I've seen this season) and a striker (wells from Huddersfield or Leicester have about 8 forwards now Varney on loan). Love to see Didzy behind 2 strikers creating for them. 3 at back with parr and mings flying down wings Skuse and bishop and Didzy behind Murphy and another. Need a win Saturday to start a new run. COYB !!!!!!

Gingerblues added 07:38 - Jan 15
I think people are losing a little perspective here. Our team cost 10k against the millions spent by Southampton. We are well organised and hardworking but no we aren't full of talent that could break them down. In these two games we drew with them at home - better than Arsenal managed and lost 0-1 at home - the same as Man U not shame in that.

Yes it was a disappointing game to watch (much like Derby) but lets not forget how much this team is overachieving.

rfretwell added 08:27 - Jan 15
Bru was class, how lucky are we that he was a free agent in the summer. He always made time with the ball and pulled off several lovely passes forward. Shame Hyam couldn't, he and Chambo were the main culprits in giving the ball away. No disgrace to lose to Southampton tho but both our main strikers now have injuries. Roll on Millwall!

yorksblue added 08:32 - Jan 15
After seeing Sheffield Utd beat a very similar Saints team I was quietly optimistic. Oops

runningout added 08:33 - Jan 15
think using how much has been spent by each team is sad, and not in our genes... Game was dull. We are not short of much in respect of ability, but another decent 'Ruthless' forward wouldn't go a miss

carlo88 added 08:58 - Jan 15
The only way that game was going to be exciting was if it was still 0-0 well into the second half. You couldn't have put two teams together that had more important things to concern them than the FA cup, so it was never going to be a West Ham v Everton. Southampton scoring first so early killed it, strangely enough I reckon if we had scored first it could very well have finished 1-0 to us. You could almost see the fear in our players eyes towards the end of what McCarthy would do to them if they equalised. Having said that it was a great shame we again looked so ineffectual on the TV, and I thought Hyam was awful.

Blue_Armee added 09:03 - Jan 15
Disappointed with that display, nobody except Bru in midfield showed any desire to except the ball to feet, this in turn resulted in the back 4 playing longer balls that just hung up in the wind, allowing Southampton's defenders to win virtually all the high balls. Longs constant closing down of the ball also made these passes rushed and pretty much non effective.

Let's move on to Millwall and get back to winning ways, no disgrace losing the last 2 games to good teams. Looking forward to visiting the New Den Saturday. COYB.

brittaniaman added 09:09 - Jan 15
Have we burnt out early again ??? After a wonderful December, January so far has turned out to be a damp squib again !! I remember the same happened last year, had a great Dec. and then faded out in Jan.
SO COME ON YOU BLUES !!! 3 Games left in Jan. to get this Year back on Track again !!!!!
Perhaps we can get these off colour players back in to colour again ???

skinnyman27 added 09:15 - Jan 15
yes we weren't great yesterday, but apart from longs goal which came from a great tackle from chambers, what else did southampton do, ok they passed it better than us but surely that is to be expected. the conditions were awful,pitch and wind.
i hate mark lawerence so much, so a moaning misserable git who should not be alowed to commintate, he doesnt say anything useful. not once did they say ' man utd didnt manage a shot against southampton nor did they seem to take into account that we are a CHAMPIONSHIP. CLUB against a very very good premier league team. they we very derograty of ipswich and this i didnt like.
anyway good news milwall got hammered by bradford so hopefully we can go beat them and send the moaning fans away again. COYB!!

intercept12 added 09:52 - Jan 15
Disappointing, yes, but this was 2 teams who clearly have something else major to focus on. Agree with previous comments, neither team really hit full steam and neither keeper had enough to do.
The occasion must have got to a few, half of those passes back to keeper were unnecessary (practically the only thing I agree with Lawrenson on...).
Let's save the cup dream for another year and hope for a relatively easy route a la League Cup a few years back.
Lesson learned (hopefully): long balls don't work in gale force winds, let's draw a line under it and resume business as usual on Saturday.
Only a point off top, and Nodge could well have started a Bournemouth wobble, which we have to capitalise on.

MrDiddle added 10:00 - Jan 15
Two marginal losses, one against a team challenging us for promotion and the other challenging for the champions league... and the moaners just can't help themselves. Call yourselves supporters? Get a life!

Were not going to win every game and this had to happen at some point. Count yourselves lucky that we're not in the position we were 2 years ago when we were regularly at the receiving end of cricket scores. MM has performed nothing short of a miracle building this team and people shouldnt forget that.

Now we're out of the FA cup we can focus on the league and getting back to winning ways. Up the town!!!

62WasBest added 10:03 - Jan 15
I think people on here are being a little hard on Hyam. He had a mixed game, as did some others. The biggest problem last night was the accuracy of the passing, even on the deck. And if long balls are going to be the order of the day then the gap between the strikers and the midfield has to be narrower.

Mings coming on certainly showed that much more width was needed. The conditions were not great nor was the pitch. Think we are all agreed though that we need more ball carriers in he middle. That's the only way to create space if the passing and movement breaks down.

Don't see Ambrose really contributes much on last night's performance. Though we were second best I think it is fair to say that Southampton created no serious threat either and the goal was sheer opportunism, taken expertly. Our defence played well, which is satisfying.

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