McCarthy: Bonkers Start, Magnificent End!
Tuesday, 12th Jan 2016 23:05
Town boss Mick McCarthy felt his side thoroughly deserved their 2-1 home victory over Leeds United, despite Brett Pitman’s winner coming two minutes into injury time.
“It was a bonkers start and a magnificent end to a really good game, one that we thoroughly deserved to win, I might add, so it was a fitting end in my view,” he said.
“Weird’s a good word for it, conceding after 12 seconds. I thought they obviously started well, they got the goal, but it was just a mistake and they finished it well, good luck to him. Well done. I can say that now we’ve won, of course.
“I thought for 10 or 15 minutes they were probably slightly the better team, I think after that we’ve been different class, their keeper’s made all sorts of saves and we’ve deserved to win. I think we created enough chances to win two games, to be honest with you.”
McCarthy was delighted to grab the late winner, but was most pleased with the overall display: “It’s the all-round performance, of course it is just about winning, because we could have played well and drawn and we’d all be feeling differently and probably the ‘Super Mick’ wouldn’t have been going behind the goal, there’d have been a chorus of boos.
“But I understand that as well because you expect us to win at home but we were excellent tonight. That’s as well as we’ve played and created as many chances as ever we have. The lads were different class, I’m really pleased.”
The Town boss had praise for Ryan Fraser, the man of the match who created both goals: “In the second half he was great, the game opened up.
“It was hard for him, it was a turgid first half because they were sitting back and trying to catch us on the break.
“It was really cluttered in there and they were defending deep, so it was hard for him. But in the second half he thrived, he was different class altogether.”
Reiterating that AFC Bournemouth can’t recall the Scotland U21 international who is on a season-long loan, he added: “He came for the season, if there’d have been a recall they’d have taken him before now!”
Brett Pitman netted his eighth goal of the season having come off the bench, which came as no surprise to the man who brought him on.
“It’s great when they work, isn’t it?” McCarthy continued. “I’m sure somebody was thinking ‘What are they taking Murphy off for, he scored 27 goals?’, but we’ve got good substitutes.
“I keep saying, I look behind me and I’ve got players who can make a difference and he did. You fancy him if it comes in, he’s great header of the ball, he’s a great finisher, but he works at his heading and it was a fabulous finish.”
The Blues boss was similarly pleased to see his skipper Luke Chambers head his third goal of the campaign.
“He’s an attacking right-back!” he added. “He’s really transformed from being a centre-back. He’s bought into it, what I love about him is that he’s done it unconditionally and selflessly and he’s made himself into a good right-back. He’s a top bloke, a top pro, a good captain and I’m delighted for him.”
He also had praise for midfielder Cole Skuse: “Skusey’s a Premier League footballer, I’m delighted to have him here on a long contract. I think he’s been a special player for us.
“I’ve had a couple of digs, but he was much maligned because he sits there and helps it on, he’s a continuity player, but he breaks things up and he gets back. He’s a delight to work with as well, a great guy.”
McCarthy says he was confident his side would win even when they were one down at half-time: “My half-time teamtalk was very calm and calculated, I thought we were excellent, if we kept playing that way and opening them up, we’d create chances and we would score.
“I said if we score one we’d score two and we’d win the game, I fancied we’d win it even at that point.
“That might sound bonkers that but I thought we were dominated possession in the game. But we had to play well in the second half, they’ve got good players Leeds, they’re on a good run, or they were.”
He added: “I think the performance is the sign of a good side and the performance warranted and merited the win. They keep going to the last, they always have. They’re a terrific bunch of lads.”
Leeds boss Steve Evans was disappointed his team didn’t see the game out: "We had a perfect start scoring in the first minute and we dominated for the first 10 to 15 minutes.
“You know they are not going to pass the ball around, instead lumping it to [Daryl] Murphy. It became a dour battle between the two teams.
"Their two goals came from two crosses when we switched off - they were two poor goals.
"We should have tried to take the point but at the end Souley should walk the ball into the corner for their goal.”
Evans was furious with referee Fred Graham, who wouldn’t leave the field after the game until the Leeds boss had been removed from the tunnel by stewards.
"I can't fault the efforts of my players though the referee will be getting a low mark - I thought he was absolutely garbage,” Evans fumed.
"We got in good areas to create but we didn't create enough. It demonstrated to me that we need to bring some more quality into the football club and we are trying to do that.
"Ipswich are a benchmark for us, but I don't think they deserved the win. In spells, they were disjointed and just as bad as we were.
"I don't remember them creating too much in the second half but at the end, we just switched off and were punished.”
Winning goalscorer Pitman felt the Blues were well worth the three points.
“I thought we played well tonight and we thoroughly deserved the three points,” he told Ipswich Player HD .
“It would have been harsh on us if we’d only got one point because there was only one team trying to win that game and they would have been delighted with a point.
“Obviously it wasn’t an ideal start but conceding that early gives you a lot of time to get back in the game. It’s nice to come on to make an impact and it’s turned out that I’ve got the winner tonight ,which hopefully puts me in the frame for Saturday.
“You can’t win the league, get promoted or reach the play-offs with 11 players, you need a lot more. We’ve got a good squad here, as the manager keeps saying, and instances like tonight probably prove him right.”
Photo: Action Images
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