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McCarthy Frustrated By Defeat
Saturday, 13th Feb 2016 18:30

Town boss Mick McCarthy admitted that his side didn’t defend the corners from which Aden Flint scored Bristol City’s two first half goals well enough as the Blues fell to a 2-1 defeat at Ashton Gate.

“It always is [frustrating] when you lose,” McCarthy said. “We didn’t defend them well enough.

“But on the counter side of that, I have to say, anybody watching them and teaching kids how to put corner kicks in and getting a bit of movement with big fellas, they were magnificent deliveries, which I can appreciate.

“I don’t like it because we’ve conceded but credit where it’s due, they were so difficult to deal with.”

McCarthy lined his side up in a rarely used 3-5-2 system, which the Town manager said was making the best use of the players available to him, given the lengthy injury list.

“Absolutely, to try and keep two strikers up front first and foremost and not go 4-3-3, having lost Skusey, Luke Hyam and Dougie, it’s a pretty fearsome three that for us in the middle of the park,” he added.

“It just left us a little fragile in that area as much as anything. I tried just to stiffen that up while trying to keep two strikers on the pitch.

“We’ve got the players for [3-5-2]. The three centre-backs can cope with it comfortably, a left-sider and a right-sider. We do suffer at times from having a left footer on the right-hand side but Tommy deserves to play.”

Later in the half he moved his team to 4-4-2: “We’ve gone behind, it’s needs-must then. That’s not me being tactically astute or clever or anything. I thought we did better off that, actually, we handled it better.”

Loanee Ben Pringle and and recent signing Kevin Foley were handed their debuts and McCarthy was happy with their performances.

“I was pleased with Ben,” he said. “He’s not played for quite a while, December. I was pleased with his contribution.

“It was difficult to come into that game when he’s not coming into ‘my team’, he’s not just replacing one and we’ve got all the other 10 players in there. He’s coming in when it’s been decimated a little bit.

“I thought he did well and I thought Kevin Foley was excellent and even better still when he went into midfield, I thought he had a great performance then.”

Regarding Brett Pitman, who netted his 10th goal of the season, once again from the bench, McCarthy says he can understand why the ex-Bristol City man is less than keen to be known as a super-sub.

“He wants to play,” the Town boss added. “He certainly helped us when he came on. And it was a great goal, to be fair to him. He won’t like the super-sub tag, I guessed that.”

McCarthy turned down the likelihood of him returning to the loan market with Jonathan Douglas back from suspension ahead of the next game at home to Hull a week on Tuesday and Luke Hyam closing in on a return from his calf problem.

“Dougie will be fit and I’m hoping Luke Hyam will be fit this week,” he continued.

Also on the mend is keeper Dean Gerken after his shoulder injury, but the ex-Colchester man seems unlikely to go straight back into the side with Bartosz Bialkowski in excellent form in the last two games in particular.

“He was targeting the Hull game, but I’ve had a keeper who has been magnificent again,” the Blues boss added. “We’re very lucky, I’ve got two really good goalkeepers.”

The result sees the Blues drop to eighth and McCarthy says he's as frustrated as supporters by Town's recent form which has seen them win just one of their last six games in all competitions.

“Absolutely, we want to be pushing for the top six and I’m frustrated and agitated myself and we want to get back to those lofty heights, but we’re going to have to play better than we did and defend the corners better than we did.”

Bristol City boss Lee Johnson was delighted with the way his first game in charge went: “It was good. I expected it, to be honest, as far as the tempo and the speed of our attacking play.

“The lads have been great in the first week, I’ve got some principles into them and I thought we were good value for it.

“Their keeper’s made a couple of great saves, we’ve had lots of opportunities, corners and decent play.”

He added: “I was pleased, it was heart in the mouth in the last 10 minutes, but I think if you watch the DVD back we were pretty comfortable.

“There are a few things I need to integrate, certainly the defensive system and some of the recovery runs that we make. But as a general rule, I can’t be too greedy, I’m delighted for a win against a very good side.

“The front two had died a little bit for us and had allowed them to get up a head of steam a little bit.

“We made the subs at the right time just like last week and they were effective. I thought they got hold of it, they gave us a platform and Kieran and Aaron worked their socks off up there which meant they couldn’t just pile balls in our box. A lot of it was pretty good and we move on now.”

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Mark added 18:32 - Feb 13
It wasn't just the defending as Bristol City were well on top throughout. Injuries are biting and our small squad just can't cope with it. Having three central midfielders out (Skuse, Bishop and Hyam...I won't count Coke) meant starting with a midfield of Bru (usually disappointing away from home), Maitland-Niles (ineffective for months even at home) and Pringle on his first appearance on loan. That just allowed Bristol to control the game and to look a league or two better than us. It's such a shame when we are so close to the play-offs and with some decent, young, hungry reinforcements in January could have had a go at it.

prebsa added 18:33 - Feb 13
Change your tactics or leave Mick

Flewitt85 added 18:36 - Feb 13
Let's forget today!!

Bring on hull city.

sidtheswan added 18:38 - Feb 13
1 point out of 6 against Bristol not really promotion form . Which idiot gave MM an extended contract should have waited until the end of the season to see where we finish which on current form won't be play offs .

notleyblue added 18:39 - Feb 13
Same old excuses week in week out, we are just not good enough, no investments from the owner and no ambition from the manager, really fed up

Seablue added 18:40 - Feb 13
Cant see how season can recover. Lack of midfield creativity has been the glaring problem all season. Entertainment factor at home games has been abysmal and it is difficult to muster enthusiasm. Would definitely accept mid table position if we could witness some developing creative players. Thought AMN might fulfil this role but he has suffered from the lack of creativity in centre mid field. Terribly disappointing... By

Hamish1979 added 18:41 - Feb 13
Did I read that right? He didn't just describe Skuse, Hyam and Douglas as 'fearsome' did he?

cartman1972 added 18:42 - Feb 13
Do one McCarthy, getting bored with ssdd. Evans needed to stand up to the plate and failed in January improving the squad, irrespective your money saved us it's the lack of now that's killing us and boring the tears out of most of us.

blueboy1981 added 18:44 - Feb 13
If you're frustrated Michael - just give a thought to your top scorer Pitman as to how he feels - he will be the next one to want away.

Believe me - MANY are frustrated by just YOU - and your thoroughly boring style.


jas0999 added 18:46 - Feb 13
MM and ME should just be disappointed with themselves. Our squad isn't top 6. It's lower mid table at best. We overachieved in the first half of the season, just like last season. Were not ambitious in January and will again peter out I'm afraid. Our current model isn't sustainable. We shop at pound land but sell the product at John Lewis prices. It's going to have to stop at some point. People won't continue to pay these prices to watch a team with an inadequate squad to cope with injuries, when you have just had a transfer window to address the situation, particularly when most of those injuries were known but not acted on. It's frustrating. But sadly we aren't very good. The bench today was shocking, I just hope the club don't continue to take us for fools and tell us what a great team we have and how there was no need to strengthen. Honesty I required. I only care about the product I purchase. The football and the players. Currently neither justify the price by a long way actually.

WhoisJimmyJuan added 18:47 - Feb 13
Spin! Spin! Spin! From a man trying desperately to convince himself and anyone else things are better than they are. He now sounds like he watches different games to everyone else. I just do not understand the financial and recruitment situation these days. We have now ambition but why? Is Evans about to sell? Has MM got one foot in the allotment now? I agree with others that our squad is getting weaker. I think we need clarification QUICK

Michael11 added 18:50 - Feb 13
Not sure if this is just a rant because we lost but I've lost the tiny bit of belief I had of making the play offs. There just seems to be no effort to go for promotion whatsoever. Evans has completely cashed out and lost interest in spending a penny and I wouldn't trust Mick to spend it on anything other than 30+ year old ex-Wolves tripe if he had the funds anyway. Teams like Sheffield Wednesday got one sniff of promotion and blostered their squad with good signings to help them push on.

I know today is hard to judge because of the amount of injuries we had but tactically we got it wrong. When McCarthy first arrived we had all sorts of players playing out of position and it's the first thing he addressed. So why 3 years later do we have Chambers, Foley, Varney, Sears etc playing in unfamiliar roles? Sears and Chambers inparticularly are both so blatantly lost and out of position virtually every week. Sears is our best striker so play him there!!! Still a big fan of Mick but he's very biased and has his favourites who simply have to play.

Mystified added 18:51 - Feb 13
Clearly lacking real quality on and off the pitch. The patience of the fan's is again being tested to the max by a lack of vision and investment by those in charge. Maybe it's time the fans voiced there concern a little bit louder as it appears no one is listening at Portman Rd. Time for our illustrious owner to move on.


jpring89 added 18:53 - Feb 13
Our poor club is on the verge of the abyss dont know where we go from here even if mick went i dont think that would matter evans is the one who is responsible for our lack of progression this season more darks times ahead for town fans

mickeyjb added 18:54 - Feb 13
I think attendances will suffer although to be honest have they been that great all season? It's the only thing that the management may take note of as I'm sure they don't read this. I don't buy this we are a small club Sh1te, I know we are not a Man U or Arsenal but how many of the teams in the Prem have smaller or similar stadiums, how many of the teams around us in the championship have vastly bigger? I guess the difference is that other teams find it easier to fill theirs, Expensive tickets and contained dire football with the odd lucky injury time win doesn't equate to increases in gates.

vanmunt added 18:54 - Feb 13
what a load of drivel from Mick again. 5 at the back 4 of were central defenders, Chambers is not a right back let alone a wing back. Foley magnificent, my word give Mick a drug test. poor Freddie stuck out in no mans land, Pitman our best forward on the bench and when he starts we just hoof it to him. Murphy a shade of the player last year and don't even mention the bench, varney looked like he was trying to trap a balloon and Toure is a league one player at best. Give the fans some hope of next season by giving some young players a spot on the bench and some game time.. As this season is as good as over.

Suffolk_n_Good added 18:55 - Feb 13
Not as frustrated as we are..... The club, McCarthy, & Evans need to come out publicly & start giving us fans some truthful answers about what the score is with the direction the club is taking, either money IS available from Evans & McCarthy isn't spending it, or Evans isn't offering it. I know Evans' investment has stabilised the club, & likewise McCarthy has stabilised our previously precarious league position, but 14 years after we were last in the Premier League I see no genuine hope we can gain promotion, I know some will point to the fact we are still only 3 points off the play offs, don't be so negative! But the rose tinted spectacle brigade need to wake up, our football is dire & uninteresting to watch, our crowds are dwindling season on season, the facts don't lie. Come on ITFC, please sort it out before we get to a point where we are just a lower league club.

vanmunt added 19:01 - Feb 13
Sorry to post again but if Mick wants to know what frustration is try paying to watch this dross.. Now that's fustration.

sirmichealmills added 19:07 - Feb 13
Fraser is a good indicator of our "strength" of squad, he is way above anybody else we have in the team, and (most of) our midfield "collection" of players would struggle in league one.

I don't know who's fault it is (MM, Evans etc) but we're just an average championship team, which sadly I can't see us ever being anything else.

essextractorboy93 added 19:15 - Feb 13
Very disappointing today, didn't watch the game so can't comment on the performance but sounded like Bristol City deserved the win.

Frustrating times at the moment, agree there needs to be more communication between the owner/people high up at the club with the supporters. I don't think another manager could do any better with this group of players but unless MM is given a bit of money to invest in the team I think challenging to get into the playoffs is as far as that'll take you. Unless Evans gives Mick a bit of money to spend I don't think anything else will change.

Credit to the travelling supporters for the long journey.

TimmyH added 19:16 - Feb 13
Why doesn't Mick just come out with 'Well we just haven't defended well enough all season never mind this game', sadly I honestly believe we were a better defensive unit after the first month or so he was here...stats would definitely back this up.

christiand added 19:20 - Feb 13
This sums up our club perfectly, we always seem to miss a trick both on and off the pitch and seem to respond retrospectively. Not good enough on the pitch, how we do business off the pitch and how the club treats its own fans. We have 'SUPPOSED' aspirations to get in the premier league, but the way the club is run is very second rate!!

alfromcol added 19:25 - Feb 13
MM's comment on Tommy Smith ""We do suffer at times from having a left footer on the right-hand side but Tommy deserves to play""

Even if it means that we are unbalanced at the back and shipping goals. I am coming round to the view that what we get from Mick is all we will get. No plan B. This is all become very very disappointing. We started the season with possibly the best squad we have had for a while and due to Mick's reluctance to change his "first eleven" we are going down hill fast.

How can he justify picking the same defense when we are conceding goals week after week?


Granthamblue62 added 19:27 - Feb 13
Fantastic comment from Jas0999 - "We shop at poundland but sell the product at John Lewis prices." Couldn't have summed up the quality of team and style of play any better! Football clubs trade hugely on the loyalty of fans - but fans will only be pushed so far. As results tumble, so will the crowd at games. Thats not being fickle, that's people getting fed up paying over-inflated prices to watch sub-standard, zero-entertainment football. Was a big fan of MM and I'm not crying for him to go, but I do feel he has either lost the plot, or so stuck in his ways he is incapable of change. Bottom line is the club appear to be heading nowhere. Having supported the club since my first game in 1973 I honestly believe I will never see ITFC competing in the top flight again!

havinit69 added 19:37 - Feb 13
Jas0999 you are like a broken record, although I don't disagree with what you say, is there any need to say the same thing on every news story? We get it, you think we should have strengthened, talk about stating the obvious!
I am not sure what you expect? We are not going to compete with the budgets of the majority of the teams in this league, are we happy about it? No! But get real, you talk like there is money in the club to spend, there isn't and it's not going to change.
Those calling for ME to walk away, who is going to want to buy a club that's £80m in debt? If he walks away, he'll want his money back and I don't blame him.
I get that we are all frustrated, but no Marcus Evans, no Ipswich Town.

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