|Ipswich Town 3 v 1 Newcastle United|
Monday, 17th April 2017 Kick-off 15:00
McCarthy: Fitting Tribute to Sir Bobby
Monday, 17th Apr 2017 18:16
Town boss Mick McCarthy felt the Blues’ 3-1 victory over Newcastle United on Sir Bobby Robson Day was a fitting tribute to the clubs’ legendary manager. Goals from Freddie Sears, David McGoldrick and Emyr Huws saw Town to the win, with ex-Blues striker Daryl Murphy netting for the Magpies.
“I think it was a great tribute to Sir Bobby and Lady Elsie, who was here and all the family,” McCarthy said.
“I’m not sure which side he’d be on, I think he must have favoured us today.
"I think the game was a fitting tribute to him, it was a good game. It was a lovely thing to do and it’s nice to be part of it, I have to be honest.”
Was the win and performance against one of the division’s top sides and the Blues’ first back-to-back victories coming at this late stage of the season to some extent bittersweet? “No, it’s just sweet!”
But McCarthy agreed it was Town’s best performance of the campaign: “I would say so, especially with beating Newcastle at home, so I would guess it makes it even better. It’s the best one.”
Did he sense some nervousness from the visitors as they close in on a return to the Premier League? “You get nervous at either end, we were talking about that before the game.
“If you’re in that top two and you start looking at the games and wondering, and likewise for us on Friday night [at Burton], we were nervous. But thankfully we held it together and won.
“But we deserved to win today, we’ve just been better than them all-round, I think. And if anybody goes away talking about Newcastle being nervous and not playing very well, I think that would be an injustice to my team and my players today.”
With their Championship status having been all but secured by beating the Brewers 2-1 on Friday night, did he feel the shackles were off for his players? “Maybe, that’s a good story. But I thought we played well on Friday night when the shackles were on good and proper and if we’d have lost we’d got Newcastle coming. We played well on Friday night.
“That’s a little bit unjust to say that, although it may well have happened. They are feeling it a bit and I did say to the lads there are 25,000 coming here to watch.
“I said, ‘Not us by the way, I’m sure none of the f****rs are coming to watch us the way we’ve been playing here. So if that’s the case, I’m not bothered about that but make sure they’re talking about us when they go home, in a positive manner, and make sure they’ve come and they’ve enjoyed watching us’.”
“So for whatever reason it’s a good performance. I can’t get to the bottom of it and tell you why. Maybe it’s the fact that David McGoldrick’s in his pomp and playing great and Freddie and Tom Lawrence and Wardy, I thought the front four were excellent. Anyway, I’m not really bothered about the reason why, I’m just delighted we did.”
Regarding third goalscorer Huws, who is on loan from Cardiff, McCarthy reiterated his desire to keep the Welshman at Portman Road but says there’s nothing new to add on that front: “I’m only repeating what I’ve said before, but yes.”
McCarthy said he was pleased to send everyone happy and with what was an excellent Portman Road atmosphere, which hasn’t always been the case in recent times.
“That’s because we’ve been shit!” McCarthy added, referencing terrace chants at recent matches. “I’m cool with that, I’m fine. But it’s not been helped by a shit atmosphere as well.
“It cuts both ways, doesn’t it? Cuts both ways. I said when we were struggling and maybe could have got relegated, I said the crowd are part of that as well if it happens.
“And they’ve been a great part of a fabulous victory today and I love to send them home feeling that way.
“And we did for a long time, we had 13 victories on a Tuesday night here. It was fab, it was great. Like I said to you before, I kept the club up, three top 10 finishes and I’ve had a bad year this year.
“Isn’t it great when everybody turns their back on you and sneers at you and actually wants to stop you coming to the game and things like that. I’m glad they’ve enjoyed it today. Good. I have as well.”
Keeper Dean Gerken missed out on a place on the bench again due to a shoulder injury, while Jonny Williams was in the squad but not included in the 18.
Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez was disappointed with his side’s display which he felt was significantly worse than their showing in Friday’s 1-1 home draw with Leeds.
“I am concerned about the change in the team in terms of the performance against Leeds and the performance today,” he admitted.
“We know we still have to win games – and we must improve a lot. We knew it could be this kind of game today and I felt we were ready but it seems we were not.
“We were not focused or mentally ready. It is difficult to explain that but that is the reality. As soon as we scored and had control of the game we made another mistake.
“We are paying for our mistakes and we have to learn from that. But it is still in our hands.
“This was not us at our best and we have to change quickly. We all have to take responsibility – we win and lose together.
“Was it our worst display of the season? I don’t know and I’m not worried about that. We lost and that’s it, and I am disappointed because of that.
“We know something is wrong and we have to analyse the situation. We have had a lot of very good performances this season and we need to do it again.”
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