|Crystal Palace 2 v 1 Ipswich Town|
Tuesday, 22nd August 2017 Kick-off 19:30
McCarthy Extremely Proud of Youngsters
Tuesday, 22nd Aug 2017 22:40
Town boss Mick McCarthy said he was “extremely proud” of his young side after their narrow 2-1 second round Carabao Cup defeat at Crystal Palace. The Blues manager fielded a side with an average age of 20, the youngest of his 25-year management career.
“I’m extremely proud and they should be proud of themselves, that was one of the things I said to them,” he said. “Some of those lads might get one game, they might get 150 games in the first team.
“They all wanted it, they all wanted to play in the first team, but I said to them, ‘If you get one, don’t make it one of those occasions where you’re careful what you wish for and you get it and you don’t live up to it’.
“Well, I think all of them more that lived up to it. I said, ‘Your mum and dads are here, make sure that they’re proud when they’re going away.
“They will be because they played but they can be proud about how they played, and I certainly am.
“They only scored because we were knackered, I think. We gave the ball away, we just got tired and they got it in midfield and it was a fabulous goal. But [James McArthur] cost a lot of dough, didn’t he? They’ve got a lot of good players. Premier League punishment, I’m afraid.”
Regarding the late fightback which saw Bersant Celina net his first Blues goal, he added: “It was nice to give them a scare, a little bit of a flutter. And the header, there were one or two thinking that might just drop in towards the end.
“Thank God we didn’t go to extra-time, we’d have had to send the nurse on, I think. They’re all due in bed anyway. Far too late for them - health and safety.”
McCarthy had praise for the Town support, which numbered 1,904, and said he was careful to outline his plans to field a young team in advance so they would know what to expect.
“My relationship’s not been great with our fans for a long time,” he admitted. “I wasn’t going to con them.
“I thought if they’re coming, they should know what’s happening. I don’t want them turning up and feeling cheated and feeling conned and being disappointed.
“But there’s none of them that can be feeling that, they can feel proud that they’ve got some players that surprised me, that I think could contribute to the first team now, where I probably had my doubts.
“And the fans were great. TC said beforehand they gave them a great welcome onto the pitch. They’ve had a night they can enjoy.”
Asked if they’ll all be telling him they should play from now on, he responded: “They’re always telling me who I should play but I don’t take a blind bit of notice of anybody else except TC.”
McCarthy was loath to pick out anyone in particular: “I’d be a little bit unfair if I just mentioned a couple because all of them have [impressed me].
“Ben Folami, I’m always on at him, ‘You’ve got to work harder’. You should never not be a footballer because you don’t work hard enough. And he put a shift in today, he was great.
“All of them, the younger ones. I’d expect it from Bersant Celina and Danny Rowe, but Woolfie I thought was great at the back, and Pat Webber.
“Pat Webber, who was off to Aldershot and he’s not good enough, he comes here and he’s had a great game.
“And, of course, we’ve got two outstanding keepers, and Gerks only doesn’t get in the team because Bart’s so good. And I feel for him at times. He’s been brilliant tonight and he was the captain. Nydam at left-back. It was a good evening.”
Told rested left-back Myles Kenlock was spotted in with the away fans, McCarthy added: “He’s a South-East London boy, so he’s probably gone home as well. I’ll check what state he’s in when he comes in on Thursday morning.”
Does a player coming along to cheer his team-mates on illustrate the mood in the camp at present? “It’s lovely, Skusey was ill today, so that was another one off my list. There was a great spirit among the players and staff last year, but it helps when you’re winning games.”
McCarthy says he has greater belief in the players coming through following tonight’s game, but wants them to show similar form in the less high profile games to come.
“I’m optimistic for them now having seen that performance,” he said. “I’ve just stressed upon them that I don’t want to turn up and watch bullshit U23 tippy, tappy football and see performances like I’ve seen with them.
“That’s the standard that they’ve set. All of those players that will have to go back and play U23s, because they’re not all going to play in the first team, I want to see that kind of performance and not dropping from that.
“I know it enthuses them and excites them and they can play above, but they’ve got to keep that level if they want to be in the team. I’m really pleased.”
Palace boss Frank de Boer was delighted with his first win since taking over as boss at Selhurst Park after back-to-back defeats in their opening two Premier League matches.
"Winning gives you confidence, of course, it is always nice to win even if maybe Saturday is more important," he said. "I'm very pleased with the spirit I saw from the players. Some are coming back from injury, some are waiting for their chance.
"You have to show yourself and make it as hard for me as possible. I think a lot showed they are ready, so for that spirit I am pleased.
"In the first half we couldn't really get the pressure on them, that's why we changed the system in the second half to 4-3-3 after about 15 to 20 minutes. From there we had total control and scored two fantastic goals."
Regarding double-goalscorer McArthur, he added: "You are always waiting for that moment and I'm very pleased for the team and the fans and for everyone who loves Crystal Palace to finally score a goal.
"Quality shots, good composure, accuracy. There is no need to hit it hard if you have the accuracy to put it in the corner."
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