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McCarthy: An Outstanding Attacking Performance
Tuesday, 26th Sep 2017 23:06

Town boss Mick McCarthy hailed an “outstanding attacking performance” after the Blues thrashed his old club Sunderland 5-2 at Portman Road, the first time Town have scored five at home under his management.

“It was great, it’s got f— all to do with me, though,” McCarthy joked. “I don’t know what happened, to be quite honest! We don’t score five, do we? We don’t play that way. It was lovely, I really enjoyed it.”

More seriously, McCarthy said he knew his side would score goals when he set them up with David McGoldrick, Joe Garner, Bersant Celina and Martyn Waghorn all in the starting XI.

“I didn’t know their team but I thought Callum McManaman would play, I thought Aiden McGeady would, James Vaughan would and whoever else played.

“And I just thought that Garner, Bersant, McGoldrick and Waghorn would be better than their front four against whoever they put out and thankfully that’s how it turned out to be, they all played very well.

“But you’ve got to have that security, I thought Skusey was terrific and Tom Adeyemi. I was really pleased, it was a good performance.”

He added: “They were excellent goals and we could have had more. They blocked them on the line, the keeper’s made saves. I thought it was an outstanding attacking performance, very good.”

Another former Stadium of Light employee, Martyn Waghorn, marked his return to the team by scoring once and picking up three assists.

“He’s been unlucky to be out Waggy, to be fair,” McCarthy reflected. “What’s nice is that he’s reacted in the right way.

“He’s come in and played very, very well and scored his goal. And again it was a good goal. He gets in the box and it was a good header.”

Told that Town are the top scorers in the Championship, McCarthy laughed: “Wow! Like I said, it’s nothing to do with me!”

He added: “I try to set teams up to win all the time and to play well. Pretty much I’ve had entertaining and attacking sides because I’ve had some pretty good success throughout my career.

“But I had a really tough year last year and I thought it was a bit wrong of them to sing that I’m getting sacked in the morning [tonight], I thought that was a bit appalling. I didn’t like that, to be honest.”

Keeper Bartosz Bialkowski, who mishandled a corner into his own net at Leeds on Saturday, made a vital save at 2-1 just after half-time from Black Cats skipper Lee Cattermole.

“Bart’s brilliant, he doesn’t need my affirmation, does he?” McCarthy continued. “I said on Saturday he’s been awesome for us.

“I could bitch a bit more, I thought Bersant gave the ball away, him and Didz on the edge of the box and it ends up that it could have gone in our net and those two were brilliant, It would be remiss of me really to do that, but I’ve done.”

Asked about the current state of Sunderland, who he managed between 2003 and 2006, he said: “I had very good times, I got them promoted with a million quid and I got six million quid to try and keep them in the Premier League and me with my stupidity or arrogance thought I could do it. What a tit I was then, eh?

“And, of course, I couldn’t, it was impossible and I got the sack. And they’ve spent zillions since.

“Whoever has had it, they’ve seemed to throw money at it. It was a different era when I was there, that’s for sure. Seventy-five people made redundant and I looked at the team, the players that I got shot of or released one day when we were talking about it and it was bonkers. You’ll be able to find it out, it was just ridiculous.

“And I really feel for Simon [Grayson] because when you’ve been relegated it is a tough old gig. I put in my programme notes that I lost the first nine in the Premier League and I lost to Nottingham Forest and I lost to Millwall at home.

“But they’re playing Preston on Saturday, that’s where we went and won and I finished third and got to the semi-final of the cup, so I hope that’s an omen for Simon, I really do, because I like him a lot.”

Returning to Town, McCarthy hopes a performance like tonight’s will get stay away supporters returning to Portman Road.

“If that doesn’t enthuse the fans, I don’t know what will,” he said. “I keep telling you, I’ve always tried to create an attacking team.

“We won the league with Sunderland playing 4-4-2. It’s pretty much changed the way people play a bit, Wolves we scored a lot of goals, got a lot of points. Got in the play-offs here.

“I’ve always tried to do it but sometimes had to play [with] a means to an end. But we’ve got a few more attacking players, we’ve got some different options, even Wardy comes on and looks bright and nicks a goal. It won’t work every week, but it’s nice it worked tonight.”

The Black Cats have now gone eight games without a win and boss Simon Grayson felt his team didn't do enough to stop the Blues from playing their game.

“We’re too easy to play against," he admitted. "The opposition have too much time on the ball, they get too easy goals. It affects us.

“We don’t do enough to stop the opposition from playing. At this level of football in the Championship you have to win the battle, you have to be organised and hard-working and stop the opposition from playing and they you can go and play.

“And we haven’t done that again tonight. I’m not saying the players are not caring, are not running around because they’re doing that, but they’re not doing enough to stop the opposition from playing and giving us a chance and they're making basic fundamental errors.

“We had a meeting this morning about what we need to do better. We highlighted certain situations but every time the ball went in the box in the first 25 minutes it looked like they were going to score.

“Waghorn got a free opportunity and scored. Somebody doesn’t pick up [Jordan Spence] for the corner, 2-1.

“We get back into it a little bit just after half-time, their keeper makes a good save, but from then on we were too easy to play against and you can’t do that and it’s hugely disappointing because we have to be better.

“If the last few results have not been good for us, the performances have been OK. But tonight is a massive reminder, a massive kick in the backside that we ain’t anywhere near as good as we should be.”

Photo: TWTD

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Bert added 23:15 - Sep 26
I do like a bit of irony.

SitfcB added 23:15 - Sep 26
Super Mick....!

timspencero added 23:15 - Sep 26
Our attacking play was brilliant tonight, Waggy and Garns have been brilliant acquisitions. If we set up for them to do their thing, we'll cause problems because there's a touch of class and real hunger in them, and with McGoldrick too we are formidable. I was a bit devastated on Saturday. And to be honest, it was good to feel something, if that makes sense. Because in my heart of hearts, this season, deep down i'm allowing myself to think maybe. just maybe..

One last thing. We have to get behind McCarthy, and the team. If it doesn't work then rethink next summer. For now we need 100% genuine, impassioned support. We need to start behaving like a proper club again.

Europablue added 23:17 - Sep 26
Well done to Mick and the lads.
Certainly some really good signs and this season is shaping up to be very positive indeed, especially in comparison to last year.
There have been far too many false dawns to be entirely confident that the entertainment value will improve, but credit where it's due.

Umros added 23:19 - Sep 26
Great game, can't argue with that the small but being the 20 minute spell returning to the old
McCarthy tactics of trying to shut up shop......and that was something to do with you!

BanksterDebtSlave added 23:23 - Sep 26
I'm assuming the "sacked in the morning " song was sung at Grayson or was it as Mick seems to think at him (I assume ironic humour).

Mark added 23:26 - Sep 26
All credit to the manager and the lads tonight, excellent performance. Fine saves from Bart, defence did pretty well including a goal for Spence and a super display from Iorfa, midfield good in the air and combative with Celina particularly positive. The front three are all lively, Garner such a handful, Waghorn looked really fresh and a threat, and McGoldrick just gets better and better. Lovely to see us go for a team from the start and push home our advantage. The squad looks so much better than a year ago (Douglas, Bru and Best all started the home match against Brighton a year ago tomorrow).

Palestine added 23:34 - Sep 26
Amazing!!! Love it! 5 goals!! It's been so long....

Bit rich of MM to say "I've always tried to play attacking football." - Not when you've 2 holding mifielders at home, and looking to nick one. But whatever - this season looks so promising now we've got some firepower..!!

Roll on Saturday!

And for once the East Anglian derby is not a foregone conclusion....

Palestine added 23:34 - Sep 26
Amazing!!! Love it! 5 goals!! It's been so long....

Bit rich of MM to say "I've always tried to play attacking football." - Not when you've 2 holding mifielders at home, and looking to nick one. But whatever - this season looks so promising now we've got some firepower..!!

Roll on Saturday!

And for once the East Anglian derby is not a foregone conclusion....

Norwichbeater added 23:39 - Sep 26
I was obviously unusually naive about the getting sacked chant. I thought it was aimed at Grayson 😑

Warkys_Tash added 23:40 - Sep 26
Fantastic attacking football tonight Mick, your team thoroughly entertained. I would love to see another 4,000+ fans on the gate for Sat. Lets get PR rocking once again.

However, one point. You haven't always set your teams up to attack and win, please dont try to say you have. If you did, we would still be pulling in crowds of 23-25k like in the How Royle days..

Tonight you set-up for attack, against Bolton you didn't. More of tonights attacking intend for Sat please.

prebbs007 added 23:41 - Sep 26
That's the best attacking performance by a town side in years. It was a joy to watch patient passing and movement throughout the side. Some of the goals were sublime. Wired that we scored 5 but our CF didn't score. However Joey Garner was quite superb. All of our attacking players were outstanding. We do still have issues that need addressing though. Defensively we concede needless set pieces and our big problem is at CB. Jordan Spence had an excellent game but our captain is an utter liability. Chambers list every header against Vaughan. He got beaten down the channels by McGeedy and mcmanaman. The only thing he brings to the side is motivation but his lack of ability is frightening and he will cost us points regularly. I appreciate at the moment we are short in that area but when Webster is fit (hopefully asap) it MUST be chambers who is dropped and not spence.

Congrats to MM & TC for the turnaround from last season let's hope we can repeat that against Bristol City which will be another very tough game. Superb to see. Get fit soon Webbo.


carsey added 23:49 - Sep 26
Excellent attacking performance from the lads but boy do we need a shake up in defence. Had it not been for Bart and some woeful shooting for Sunderland it might have been a high scoring draw.
What really frustrated me was we dominated the game by keeping the ball and passing it to someone in the same colour shirt except the last 20 minutes or so when we reverted to sitting back and hoofing the ball anywhere. Keep doing the same thing that got us in front.
As good as it was to score 5 good goals I am really concerned when we come up against a quality team because they will score when they get a chance.
The players have shown they can do it so keep doing it. KEEP THE BALL
A final word for McGoldrick - it's like having a new player on the staff. He is chasing everything. He is collecting the ball from the back. He is creating chances for others and managing to score himself. Got to get him signed up now because on this form someone will be after him come January.

algarvefan added 00:12 - Sep 27
timspencero well said in your post above, the time for bickering, nitpicking and staying away are over, I honestly believe we have a team here who can finish in the top 6. We need to get behind the lads, the management and go hell for leather for it. I'm not getting carried away but I think we need to do what supporters do and be the 12th man!!

steve1968 added 00:40 - Sep 27
Well done boys fantastic performance I just wish we could win a few more headers in defence

yungblue added 00:43 - Sep 27
Now we know the level we can play, and we should play, it cannot drop below that for 95% of the season, from players and manager. Good all round performance tonight, that sets the bar now.

ArnieM added 01:49 - Sep 27
FFS Mick , we were sing you're getting sacked in the morning to the Sunderland Manager !!!

lightingblue added 03:25 - Sep 27
The challenge to you big Mick is to maintain the last 2 performances. The deal is that if you can do that most weeks then we shall forget last season

Dissboyitfc added 06:54 - Sep 27
Well said Warky'stash, spot on!!!! Cant understand why anyone would disagree!

Ippy89 added 07:00 - Sep 27
I was at the game and can say the fans were not singing "you're getting sacked in the morning" to Mick. It was 100% aimed Grayson who is under a lot of pressure. They will lose to Preston and he will get sacked on Saturday. It's sad that Mick thought it was aimed at him!

Suffolk_n_Proud added 07:11 - Sep 27
I can't tell if some of the comments above are being just as serious as some of Micks.

Do you see what I did there

blue75 added 07:24 - Sep 27
Yes McCarthy we attack very well and scored good goals. Just a shame you didn’t do that against Bolton!! You did revert to type around the 70 minute mark. I understand your thinking on that, I much prefer attitude of if we’re in their 12yd box they can’t score but we might get another!! I just hope you set your team up to attack Bristol not try and match them!!

braveblue added 07:43 - Sep 27
MM makes it so hard to like him. Always tried to play attacking football!!! He has driven thousands away. Keep this type of performance up and they will soon come back but try to talk like a grown up.

Bildestoned added 07:52 - Sep 27
Well that was worth my 160 mile round trip! What a vastly improved player Knudsen is; he was a constant threat (a full back!) and is clearly totally committed to the Town cause. Not much adverse comment here about Skuse I note? Sorry guys but you don't get picked every week for nowt - think Geraint Williams - and with better players around him he is showing why MM rates him.

gamezone added 07:57 - Sep 27
Did anyone see Tommy Smiths interview on look East, brilliant interview and he said he hopes to be back after the international break. We need him to complete this team.
This could be the season for ITFC

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