|Barnsley 1 v 2 Ipswich Town|
Saturday, 12th August 2017 Kick-off 15:00
McCarthy: Subs Deserve the Credit
Saturday, 12th Aug 2017 18:14
Town boss Mick McCarthy heaped praise on half-time subs David McGoldrick and Martyn Waghorn after their goals saw the Blues come from behind to win 2-1 at Barnsley in their opening Championship away game of the season.
McCarthy admitted that his side were second best in the first period and were fortunate not to be behind by more than just Tom Bradshaw’s 15th minute goal.
“We were under the cosh a bit in the first half,” he said “Hecky [Tykes manager Paul Heckingbottom] got his tactics right against us.
“We played 3-5-2 in our two previous games and played really well. And if I was playing against 3-5-2 I’d have stuck 4-3-3, which I’ve done in the past and is what he did.
“They had the better of the first half, we were lucky to get away with it. Bart’s kept us in the game, certainly the one-on-one [with George Moncur] just before half-time. He should score, to be fair, but we’ve got the wizard in the nets. I say wizard, he’s more like an octopus at times.
“So he kept us in it. I was tempted to change it beforehand but I wanted to see the half out and thankfully we did and I was always going to go 4-4-2 as I did.”
McCarthy says from there it was down to subs to make a difference: “They deserve the credit, they’ve sat on the bench and watched it and probably think they should be playing.
“I’ve got my new striker, Martyn Waghorn, Didzy who is desperate to play, so their response to having to sit on the bench has been brilliant.
“I’ve just said to them in the dressing room, ‘You don’t win it without a squad, without lads who are prepared to sit on the bench and then come on and make a difference’. So, that was nice.”
Does he believe there is more quality in his squad this year? “I think we have, I think we’ve absolutely nicked the two strikers [Garner and Waghorn]. We’re looking at a million quid for the two of them, they’re 29 and 27, they both score goals in this league. I’m absolutely thrilled with that bit of business.
“If Didzy’s fit he’s a top Championship player. And poor old Freddie Sears runs 13km a game and doesn’t get all the credit but he gets it from me.
"He’s a metronome is Freddie, he’s unbelievable, he just keeps going and going and going. He’s very selfless and that’s a lovely quality to have in your squad.”
The win was Town’s third in their first three games, something the Blues haven’t done since 2002/03, and that at a time when several players are out injured or recovering from illness.
“I’ll be knackered when they’re all fit,” McCarthy joked. “It’s a nice start, it’s just a lovely start for us. Bearing in mind the end of the last season, it’s really pleasing that we’ve played well and we’ve won games and hopefully we can capture the hearts and minds of our fans as we lost them last year.”
Garner, who scored the winning goal last week, put in another impressive display and is quickly becoming a fans’ favourite.
“Fans sometimes bemoan what I want from players,” the Town boss reflected. “They all say, ‘He’s a Mick McCarthy player’. In my mind it’s seen as a real quality. In other people’s minds that want the sexy touch and play.
“If you’ve got the Joe Garners in you’ve got a chance of winning games. If I’ve got all flighty, flirty footballers in the team we’ll win diddly.
“They give Didzy the platform to score, but he’s put his shift in, I’m not saying he doesn’t. So, when somebody says he’s ‘a Mick McCarthy player’, you know you’re getting somebody who will care about the team and run around and put a shift in, which, for me, I’ll take all day long.”
Regarding Bialkowski’s performance, he said: “That’s just the norm. We may have got relegated last year but for him. He was just outstanding.
“What did we have, 16 draws? There were 1-1s and 0-0s and we could have been beaten. We’d all want to win them but there are times when you just need to get that point. And he secured loads for us, believe me.
“He was outstanding last year, he’s won our Player of the Year two years on the bounce and not just by a small margin, he’s won it by a street.”
Has he received any bids for the Polish keeper over the summer? “No, and if there had've been I wouldn’t have told you.”
What did he say during his half-time team-talk? “I said they’d had the better of it and Bart had kept us in the game. I’m changing the team and I’m going 4-4-2 because they were doubling up on our wing-backs and they were having a field day.
“Pretty much that. I gave them the instructions of how I wanted them to play and they carried out.”
Flynn Downes was forced off in the second half and McCarthy says he’s not yet sure the extent of the problem, which appeared to be a knee injury.
The Blues boss says he can do without any more players sidelined and will be looking at adding another player to his squad, although a defender to cover for Tommy Smith, who he confirmed has injured his hamstring.
“I think [owner] Marcus [Evans] could as well because we’ve got another one, we’re going to have to go and get somebody from somewhere.
“I’ve got five of them injured at the minute, Luke Hyam, Teddy Bishop, Emyr Huws, Tom Adeyemi, Andre Dozzell, that’s five first-team [midfield] players that I can’t use.
“I don’t know what Flynn’s done yet, he’s just got a bag of ice on it. Tommy Smith’s done his hamstring so he’s going to be out for eight weeks, as well as Webbo, who is going to be out for eight weeks.”
"[I need cover], not so much [midfield], a centre-half, the lads are doing great but I’m going to need a bit of help, I think."
He added: “I’m not criticising anybody. Jordan Spence did very well today.”
Tykes boss Paul Heckingbottom felt his side deserved to take something from the game.
“I'm deflated, but as I always say, we’ve not played well enough regardless of how well we’ve done," he said.
“I think we’ve done more than enough to win that game but we’ve not so we have to play even better next time.
“I'm really pleased with the players, the performance, the changes we’ve made, the reaction of the players, the information they took on board, how they executed it, end product.
“The sickening thing is getting beaten when a team has had two shots on goal and scored two goals.
“I thought we were by far the better side throughout. We had a 10-minute spell at the start of the second half before Ipswich scored the first where they’d made a change which brought lots of experience on.
“They started getting the ball early, winning lots of duels in the middle of the park which put us under pressure. But we weathered that, they got the goal, then I thought we got back on top without creating enough.
“But we’ve done more than enough to win that but we’ve not, so at the minute we have to play even better than that to win a game.
“Our aim is to see those games off, make sure we win those and be able to win games where we’re second best as well. And at the minute that’s where we’re lacking.”
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