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McCarthy: Back to Basics
Monday, 14th Sep 2015 06:00

Town boss Mick McCarthy says the Blues need to get back to basics and to doing what they’ve done for the past few seasons when they travel to Leeds on Tuesday looking to bounce back from Friday’s 5-1 thrashing at Reading.

Asked after the game whether it will now be a case of getting back to basics following what he called an “embarrassing performance” against the Royals, McCarthy agreed.

“I would think so, being hard to beat, being tough and resilient. We’ve not been, maybe we have been too open,” he admitted.

“Get back to doing what what we do and what we’ve done best over the last few years and that’s getting at teams and being hard to beat.

“That’s not anything like us on [Friday’s] performance so we’ve got a bit of work to do for Tuesday.”

Reflecting on the Blues’ worst defeat since the 6-0 loss at Leicester in November 2012, his first month in charge at Portman Road, McCarthy continued: “It was awful from my perspective, I would never have seen that coming.

“Maybe I take some of the responsibility, I had a very attacking team, maybe we were a bit too open, but I think there’s a fair bit of responsibility which lies with some of the lads as well.”

Changes seem inevitable at Elland Road after back to back defeats to Brighton and the Royals in which the Blues - who have kept only one clean sheet in 17 games in all competitions - have shipped eight goals and have dropped to eighth in the Championship.

However, with a much bigger squad at his disposal this season, McCarthy would probably have switched some of his personnel regardless of Friday’s result with games coming thick and fast.

Speaking on Friday prior to the visit to Reading, the Town boss said there would be players left out who could count themselves unfortunate not to be in the XI or the even amongst the subs at the Madejski Stadium.

“You feel for them that aren’t playing because they could all play,” he said at his pre-match press conference. “It’s easier to pick the team when you’ve got the best XI and there’s not much behind it. Well, now there is, there’s real competition for places. We’ve got plenty of games coming up.”

He added: “There were times in the first season when I came here when I’d be looking over my shoulder thinking about making a sub and I knew it wasn’t going to make too much of an improvement.

“I think what we’ve got now, the strength of the bench will tell you the strength of the team. The selection of the team becomes harder, but that’s a great problem that, a nice problem to have.”

Meanwhile, the Blues’ U21s are in action at Birmingham City this afternoon (KO 1pm).

Speaking last week, McCarthy said Kevin Bru and Teddy Bishop would be involved as they continue their comebacks after hamstring injuries.

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PJewellisaGod added 06:06 - Sep 14
Will be great to see Bru and Bishop back in action, even if its just for the U21's.

Hope we come back strongly and pick up the 3 points against Leeds. Badly need to get back on track.

battyblue added 06:09 - Sep 14
Here we go back to park the bus and hump ball play for a draw and anything else is a bonus the only thing Mick McCarthy is capable at i am afraid same center backs same right back etc coming up, but i would at least expect to see Gerken replaced but i wont count on it.

BossMan added 06:15 - Sep 14
Prideful Mick should of brought in a keeper who would gel the defence together and give them all confidence. We have 2 decent shot stoppers but neither are championship standard and only Mick to blame for us being stuck with that.

footyblue added 06:33 - Sep 14
time to get a better goalkeeping coach IMO

warktheline added 06:36 - Sep 14
Let's become hard to beat again, IF McCarthy picks the correct back four then that will be a major step in the right direction!
He has at his disposal players that can hurt opposition going forward , Steve Clarke said just as much , let's not forget. Put the two combinations together and we'll be doing just fine.

Len_Brennan added 06:37 - Sep 14
Over the last 2 seasons, the defence improved & became settled, but was helped a lot by having the likes of Hyam, Tabb & Anderson across midfield all with a defensive role in the way Mick set up the team. What surprised me this season was how attacking focused the teams had been, even away from home. Fraser & Maitland-Niles both put in a shift, but they are forward thinking players, while Mick seems determined to have 3 of our strikers playing for most of the games.
The problem with such a surprisingly exciting approach from Mick is that the defence isn't good enough to provide the security allowing the midfielder & forwards such freedom. Chambers has always needed help at RB, Knudsen has just come to the Championship & it has shown in the last couple of games. Berra isn't yet up to match fitness in my opinion & Tommy always has a calamity in him. Particularly with Gerken in goal, that's a back 5 which needs too much protection to allow the team to play an attacking gam against the better Championship sides. We possibly have the personnel to make it right, in Parr, Malarczyz, Oar & Bru, but 2 of those are unproven even if their profiles look to be what's needed. We definitely need Jonny Parr fit & playing in one of the full back positions.

bluefeast added 07:47 - Sep 14
Both our full backs had bad games ,there will be changes there , our left back was better than our right back , will chambers get dropped ,he needs to be.

Jimmy86 added 07:55 - Sep 14
I do hope going back to basics doesn't mean going to any away ground and just settling for a point... I hope going back to basics doesn't bring back our more "direct" style of play... in previous seasons we have been hard to beat and we'll organised defensively, but unable to string 3 passes together and the football was terrible. Mick has rightly tried to address that and our style of play has improved somewhat. We need to strike a happy medium between this season and the previous 2. Be well organised and hard to beat, but also capable of getting the ball down and play!!! You can do both...

ChrisFelix added 08:06 - Sep 14
I also have questioned the goal keeping coach for some while. Since Kelvin Davies we have had many average keepers. The best was neil Alexander. Problem with gerkin is his positioning and that he doesn't control his area. I also wasn't happy when he started on friday, but doubt he will be number one on tuesday

warbeat78 added 08:16 - Sep 14
Square pegs should do it

Ipswich58 added 08:33 - Sep 14
It's simple MM. Grow a pair as they say and do what everyone knows is needed yet you steadfastly refuse to. Drop Gherken, and Smith and get some balance. Douglas yet another example of flawed transfer policy. MM has signed far more duds than good 'uns. There's a reason such players have been released or are free.

ArnieM added 08:51 - Sep 14
Nobody's perfect , as they say.

Too much knee jerk reaction, as per usual. 5 games into a 40 game plus season, what the doom and gloom? MM/TC are more than capable of making changes , and will. Oh, and there is still the loon market

DurhamTownFan added 08:57 - Sep 14
So, we play for a 0-0 at Leeds with Tabby back in at LM? Right now, I'd take a point and then go for it in the next home game.

I agree with what Ipswich58 says. It's been plain for two years that the chambers-Smith situation needs addressing and that we need a decent undisputed no1 keeper. I also think that MM is trying to shoehorn too many strikers into the team because he's worried that whoever isn't playing will kick up a fuss.

Like Mick said: get rid of all this stuff, pick the best 11.

PJH added 09:00 - Sep 14
I think it is certainly time to bring Bart back especially as he played well for previous game and a half before the sad loss of his Father.
Hopefully get a combination at the back that looks far more secure than the one at Reading.
I think either Tabb,Parr or Coke should play alongside Skuse-assuming Bishop and Bru not available.
Murphy needs to start upfront if we are(for this game at least)going back to last seasons system.
Let's go there and try to put what happened on Friday behind us.

Surco72 added 09:26 - Sep 14
The most worrying point from the last two games is MM 's comment above

“It was awful from my perspective, I would never have seen that coming."

Unfortunately MM you are payed a lot of money to see that coming , our defence is not good enough , keepers poor , no full backs good enough for championship level and you continue to ignore our best centre back pairing . Our defensive midfielder is not dominating enough compared to last seasons promoted teams , or the teams that will be top this year .That means we have to play other more defensive minded players in the midfield Hyam , Anderson,Tabb to protect our poor defensive set up and then we limit ourselves going forward .
Should have bought a keeper , right back and midfield powerhouse good enough at this level to takeover games our creativity is fine . Still think Kevin Nolan would be ideal .
I worry about Birmingham with Gray against Chambo on TV again

Surco72 added 09:31 - Sep 14
Parr played in defence in our most successful spell of last season due to injuries and then was dropped again at Christmas . We have had 4 clean sheets since last Christmas yet the same players are played unless of suspension or injury ?

sidtheswan added 09:49 - Sep 14
MM is in charge totally his fault with team selection. However is he having to do his job with one hand tied behind his back as ME hasn't given him any money to spend on transfers. Would suggest if MM was allowed to spend some the Mings money we would be in a stronger position .

essexboy added 10:08 - Sep 14
Come on lads,Too much doom so early in the season.Mick has changed his style to much more attacking football,surely this is what we have been asking for,now we get it people want to change.Ok the defence was terrible at Reading and I'm sure Mick will address that situation before the Leeds match.Dont forget our best two midfielders have been out all season through injury,with them baak it will change.I still prefer DM and FS up front with the others coming on as impact subs later in the game.Although DMc is a very good player in my opinion he slows the game down,but then again what di I know.I feel we have a good enough squad to match any other team in this league so don't feel we need to bring in more players.Still 40 games to go so plenty to look forward to.COYB.

brittaniaman added 10:08 - Sep 14
It is a great shame we are on TV again Fri. ( twice in 8 days) because we never seem to perform well on live TV. ??????
The Goalkeeping situation came to light last season and it was NOT addressed in the summer with a good no.1 !! not criticising the two we have but they are number 2s
8 goals in the last two games has hit our goal average already ?
So let us all hope that we get a good result Tues. otherwise the fans on the fence will not will not fall our side ?? we know it is early days as yet but Brighton are showing us all the way and last season they were useless, SO what Happened ????

muccletonjoe added 10:12 - Sep 14
We badly need bru and hyam back in midfield, I don't think we have the players available at the moment who can even get close to making us hard to beat. I would bet against a clean sheet tomorrow

Lightningboy added 10:24 - Sep 14
Gerken needs dropping permanently - I don't think he's even good enough to sit on the bench..the guy is a total liability..i've seen outfield players filling in in goal who are more commanding than him.

Chambers needs moving into the middle alongside Berra.

Parr should come in at right-back..shame he's so injury prone though.

Skuse & Douglas - Skuse needs to sit and defend throughout the game & give the defence some much needed cover..they were invisible vs Reading.

Was daft playing 4 attacking players away from home..Sears needs to play up top not out wide.

Basically we need last season's ethics with the added flair of Fraser.

TR11BLU added 10:31 - Sep 14
Didnt want to read this before a long trip to another bogey ground tomorrow. I guess its another 'stay on the coach for a point' game where we just hoof it.
Gerken should be dropped (on the way up there and left in a layby) and Freddie should play up top (with Murph or Pitman) with McG behind. We need to play natural LB and RB with any two from Smith Chambers Berra in centre. Im not on the drop Tommy bandwagon, I could live with any pairing. For me Berra was shocking on Fri and showed why he is not in the prem. far too slow.

bobble added 10:33 - Sep 14
we could always blame the tv camera and stick our heads in the sand...

MattinLondon added 10:44 - Sep 14
I think if you play Skuse in the middle you really need to play two other central midfield players alongside him. He is quite a defensive midfielder (and a very good one at that) and he seats quite deep leaving a big hole in the middle of the park.

But I do think it’s case of Berra, Smith and Chambers aren’t good enough on the ball – win the tackle then hoof it up straight back to the opposition and then inviting more pressure.

blueherts added 11:24 - Sep 14
We need a player who can carry the ball over the halfway line and not turn back to his own goal - Cannot wait for Bish and Bru to come back - and think Parr and Bart need to come back in
We have more attack/flair players than I can ever remember - MM just needs to strike a balance - If you study our GD since January it is not very good and sums up where the issues have been and sadly not addressed - Maybe bring back Clarke !

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