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.”
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