McCarthy: Beaten By a Considerably Better Team
Saturday, 30th Dec 2017 18:14
Town boss Mick McCarthy admitted that the Blues were beaten by "a considerably better team" following Derby’s 2-1 victory at Portman Road, but was pleased with the way his side fought back after the break having been very much second best in the first half.
“My verdict is that we were beaten by a better team, a considerably better team on the day,” McCarthy conceded.
“I felt sorry for him, he had to make so many changes and he still had such a strong bench. My heart was breaking for Gary.
“They’re a good side, they’ve been very expensively assembled prior to Gary getting there but he’s now getting the best out of them.
“He’s a good manager as he proved at at Burton and Birmingham and they were too much for us in the first half, they could have been out of sight, to be honest with you.
“It’s really paramount that you don’t give a goal away from a corner kick as simply as we did when you’re playing against a good team. Up until then nothing much had really happened.
“That was a real body blow and they then all of a sudden looked like a real passing footballing team.
“I said they could have been out of sight because [Matej Vydra] should have scored immediately after the goal, Adam Webster’s struggling with his achilles.
“But then, to my team’s eternal credit, as they always do, they fought back and they’ve had them on the back foot.
“I know they’ve had other chances, but it made it at least exciting and it made it look like we’d had a go, which we have. We never do anything other.”
Regarding his team’s character, he added: “That’s never been in doubt about the team, they way they perform every week. No one ever comes off and says they downed tools or they didn’t work hard. Team spirit is never in doubt.
“I thought we passed it better in the second half. I changed the way we were playing in the second half.
“I’ll never know whether it was going to work or not because we were 2-0 down after four minutes of the second half after an unbelievable strike, a bomb that he put in the top corner.
“But I thought we did much, much better and at least made a game of it for the last knockings of it.
“We did end up getting a foothold in the game with Waggy and Joe up top and Bersant Celina in behind. It didn’t work completely, but it made us better.”
McCarthy was pleased with Waghorn’s set pieces, which were also praised by his opposite number Gary Rowett, one of his corners leading to Garner’s goal.
“There’s always some positives out of it,” the Blues boss continued. “He kept the pressure on because he put three in, three balls that they had to defend.
“And I have to say, I’d have to compliment them for their defending because we put a lot of balls in their box in the second half and they’ve had to put their heads on them and block them. They’re a good all-round team.”
McCarthy says he’s not yet sure the extent of Webster’s achilles problem, the defender having been forced off in the second half.
“No idea until tomorrow,” he said. “He’s come off. He’s put it in a bucket of ice, he’ll let it cool down, they’ll assess it tomorrow and we’ll find out more then.”
Asked how he will approach the transfer window, which opens on Monday, McCarthy responded: “Not with any great delight, I’m sure, because I’ll not be going out and buying players. Adam Webster, I think he’s got a sore achilles today, that might grumble on.
“I’ve lost pretty much all the midfield players, so we might need to have some recruits unless we get some injured players back. But we’re going to be looking to loan players, so it’s going to be a difficult January.”
The Town boss isn’t expecting any of his injured players back for Tuesday’s trip to Fulham, aside perhaps from Cole Skuse, who has been out with an ankle knock.
Derby manager Gary Rowett felt it was his team's "biggest win of the season" and was delighted with his team's first-half display in particular.
“It’s a difficult place to come, how many games have they lost here all season? Probably two or three," he said.
“They put you under a lot of pressure with the way that they play, they’ve got a real energetic side.
“But I just felt in the first half we blew them away with some really, really good attacking play.
"Our front four were unplayable at times and, in my opinion, we should have been out of sight, should have been three or four goals ahead at least.
“But when you come in having played so well, having missed those opportunities and you’re only 1-0 up, there’s a little bit of you thinks you’re going to have to go again because you know what Ipswich are like under Mick, they won’t let the game go, they won’t give up in any way, shape or form.
“We then got the goal fairly early in the second half, a great strike from Sam. I deliberated over the team, I knew every other part of the team but I changed the striker around about 15 times over the last two days in my mind and eventually I just felt he deserved a chance.
“He’s not really had an opportunity while the other two [David Nugent and Chris Martin] had had their chance and we needed to freshen it up. We were certainly rewarded by giving him that opportunity.”
Pointed out that it was a brave decision to leave out Nugent out at Portman Road where he has scored 10 in eight games.
“I know," laughed Rowett. "He only told about six people that he’s never not scored at Ipswich! But it’s such a difficult decision and that was part of my thought process
“But also part of my thought process was who might we play at Sheffield United on Monday and Nuge has been excellent at home.
“Sam’s goals will give me that decision to make but physically it will be hard for any of that front four to go again with that same zip and pace.
“But Nuge has been great and, like you say, I think he’s scored every time he’s played here. But I’m just not one for those types of statistics; you’d pick every player against their former club.
“For me you have to pick the right team in your mind and I think we got that just about right today."
He added: “I think that’s the biggest win of the season for us today because of the way we had to do it.
“I thought Waghorn’s delivery is probably the best I’ve ever seen in terms, just of his pace. We saw that in the home game where he set the goal up and it was right on the money, it’s so difficult to defend those moments.
“I’m disappointed with the area they scored in, within the posts, three or four yards out, that was poor marking.
"As soon as Ipswich scored their goal they then put you under pressure, like a dog with a bone. They get a chance, they get a lifeline in the game they perhaps didn’t deserve and they go for it.
“They’ll try and hunt you down and make it difficult and in the end we had a left-back playing left wing, we had a right-back playing holding midfielder and we were just trying to stop them from getting that chance that would get them back in the game.”
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