McCarthy Ready for a Holiday After Disappointing Season
Sunday, 7th May 2017 16:01
Town boss Mick McCarthy admitted that he is ready for a holiday after the Blues’ disappointing season ended with a 3-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest. The Blues manager added that his side, like Forest, who escaped relegation to League One on the final day have "not been good enough all season long".
McCarthy felt the final-day scoreline was harsh on the balance of the first period: “On the first-half performance it was. They guy on Sky just said we held them out, I didn’t think that was the case at all, I thought we were equally as good as them in the first half.
“They had a very good start, we got into the game and I was really pleased, then we just gave the most stupid penalty away.
“I’m not blaming Bart, he couldn’t do anything other than come for it. The defenders that allowed [Jamie Ward] to get in behind us from a throw-in, that was ridiculous.”
Did he think it was a penalty? “I haven’t looked at it that closely, but he’s given the penalty. He’s had to come out to try and punch it, as I remember. He shouldn’t have got there, it shouldn’t have been thrown in behind us, that’s the ridiculous nature of it and Bart’s had to come and deal with it, or try and deal with it.
“There’s no point in me arguing about it, he’s given the penalty. I’m more annoyed at the third goal. He’s given us a freekick, we fan out and try and play it, they get the ball back and he sticks in Assombalonga and he goes and scores. That was a bit annoying.”
What did he feel changed after the second half, did Forest have more of an edge as they were battling for their survival? “Probably. I tried to change it and went two up front and matched them, but it didn’t work. I thought Myles Kenlock had had a really tough first half so I gave Josh Emmanuel 45 minutes.
“They were [on top], certainly when they got the second goal, we gave it away and it ended up in our net.”
He added: “They were playing two up and I thought we’d match them up. It just didn’t manifest itself like that. But we gave the second goal away at that point, so we never really got a chance to get into it at all.”
Young full-backs Emmanuel and Kenlock have conceded three penalties between them in recent weeks, is that something they’ll have to learn from?
“We have been very fortunate with them that they’ve come through and got themselves in the team,” he added.
“But they’re still learning very much. They’ve only had about 15 starts between them or something, maybe a few more than that, I don’t know if they’ve had 20 or 30 starts between them, and that’s not a lot.
“They’re both very, very young, inexperienced but have got good potential and I think overall they’ve both had good seasons.
“But it starts to get to the end of the season and they get physically tired, mentally tired and they’ve both got to come back and be ready for a tough year next year.”
Might Town have had a penalty late on when Dominic Samuel looked to have been fouled by Matt Mills?
“I know Matt Mills has pulled him down because I’m a defender,” McCarthy said. “He messed it up and he threw himself across him.
“It’s a foul but it was at 3-0 that, so it was hardly going to change the scoreline dramatically. But I would still have taken the penalty, I would still like to have scored. I think it was a foul.”
McCarthy says he switched Christophe Berra for Adam Webster in the second half in part to give the former Portsmouth player some minutes on the field after his injury and partly so fans could pay tribute to the Scotland international, who could return home this summer.
“It was more a gesture to Adam to put him on and let him have 10 minutes and get a feel for it having had such a horrible injury,” he said.
“But also if it is Christophe’s last game it was nice that fans did give him a nice ovation and he’s deserved it because he’s been terrific.”
McCarthy included second-year scholar Flynn Downes on the bench but said it wasn’t the game to blood youngsters. However, he says the midfielder will have a chance of being involved with the first-team squad in pre-season.
“A very good chance, him and Tristan Nydam,” he said. “I’ve just said to him in the dressing room, it wasn’t a day for those guys. We had it all on with the experienced players on the pitch. But he’s got a really good chance.
“All-round, technically he’s a really good football, he’s athletic, he puts his foot in, he’ll compete, he’s a real competitor and he’s a winner on the pitch.
“He comes over and he shows no respect for the first team, he comes and dumps them on their backsides if they need dumping on their backsides. I love that about him.
“And Tristan the same, there are a number of them. Unfortunately they’re all central midfield players coming through. Dozzer’s still having to grow up in a tough year for the club. But they’ll be good players in the end.”
What did he say to his players after the match? “The general gist of it was ‘Thank you’. It’s interesting, isn’t it? We’re here today and it’s a bit like Nottingham Forest have won the league today. It’s like their FA Cup final, it’s their league, it’s brilliant. It was either going to be a wake or a celebration and up until the penalty it could very easily been a wake.
“And good for them, good for Mark Warburton, but we had our day at Burton and we had our day against Newcastle. Why are they where they are, why are we where we are? We’ve not been good enough all season long.
“That game’s probably summed our season up, to be honest, some good, some bad, some indifferent.”
Is he now ready for a holiday? “I certainly am and I think everybody else is. That was the gist of the conversation and ultimately to say thanks to them. We’ve done what Nottingham Forest have done and we’ve done it earlier than them. We could have been looking for points today.
“Chambo as a captain and the rest of the lads, I’m not saying they’ve been great playing and results and performances-wise but as a squad of lads, as a bunch of lads they’ve been great. They’ve stuck together and made sure we weren’t in Nottingham Forest’s position today.”
Forest boss Mark Warburton was delighted that his side escaped the drop with Tony Mowbray’s Blackburn relegated despite their 3-1 win at Brentford.
“We showed a lot of character, we deserved the win and the victory and I am delighted for the players and the fans; their support today was outstanding,” he said.
“The vow is we must never allow Forest to be in this situation again. It can’t happen. The last five or six weeks, the relegation dog fight, is not what we are about. Remember the feeling and the relief we feel now and that must not happen again.”
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