McCarthy: Result We Needed to Get Fans Back On Side
Saturday, 13th Jan 2018 18:38
Boss Mick McCarthy felt the Blues played really well and was really pleased with the win as Town beat 10-man Leeds United 1-0 at Portman Road, a result he admitted was needed to get the fans back on side. Bersant Celina won it with what McCarthy described as a “bit of magic” in the 67th minute.
“I thought it was a really tough game against a team that’s in good form, they’ve got good players,” he said.
“I haven’t seen the sending off, somebody says he’s head-butted him. If that’s the case he deserves to be sent off.
“But that doesn’t make it easy, we’ve scrapped away. We needed a result over and above everything because we’ve had three defeats on the bounce and we needed to get our fans back on side here.
“I think their fans have helped more than anything else to get them back on side because they were brilliant, they’ve created an atmosphere that was brilliant to play in and manage in.
“But they’re a good side and we’ve had to scrap it out. We’ve played well, I’m really pleased.”
Regarding Celina’s brilliant winner, he added: “That’s risk and reward. I did say, ‘Thank goodness you did’ because sometimes he was causing us as many problems as he was causing them, losing it.
“But that’s Santie, that’s what you get with him. He works his socks off, he is a proper little character on the pitch. He kept trying to stay wide and him and Myles linked up a bit.
“I said to him and Didzy in the first half, it wasn’t happening for them. They’re the magic really for us, if they’re going to create something.
“Maybe it wasn’t the game for them, I don’t know, and I’m being me, having a dig at them, but perhaps it wasn’t the game, it was a tough game. But that one bit of magic in the second half wins us the game, which is great.”
If it had gone into Row Z might he have had words with the on-loan Manchester City man? “No, I’d have said well done. That doesn’t matter, does it? That’s hypothetical that because it didn’t.
“We kept encouraging him to get the ball and take them on. He had a couple of crosses to the far post, he went over Dom twice and cut back.
“But that’s him. And it’s not easy to be that little magician in a game like that, it’s tough and it wasn’t easy for their good players either. But if you find that one bit at the end which wins the game then brilliant.”
He says that’s why Celina is in his team: “Of course, and we had Tom Lawrence last year and had the wee man Ryan Fraser who also managed to produce those kind of things for us. What we really need is one that’s ours!”
Dean Gerken made his first league start since April 2017 in goal and impressed his manager: “Remarkable really because he hadn’t trained up until the beginning of this week. He’s had a great week’s training.
“I said to him, ‘If that’s you injured, I’d like to be injured’ because he was fabulous. Bart’s got a calf strain and, to be fair, I think he was still hoping he could play but I told him he wasn’t playing.
“It was 19-to-one, I thought - play one game, get injured. Gerks has done what he’s always done when he’s played, he’s played well and remarkably he’s had a clean sheet out of it.”
Inevitably Bartosz Bialkowski’s absence led to conspiracy theories suggesting the Pole, who until recently was interesting Crystal Palace, is on the verge of departing, but McCarthy dismissed such claims.
“It’s funny, somebody reminded me of a quote of mine at Leeds when we drew one-all. Somebody said to me it was the funniest quote he’d ever heard and I couldn’t remember saying it, but then I did,” he recalled.
“It was when we were at Leeds and we drew one-all and we gave a penalty away. We’d murdered them, we should have won and somebody said, ‘Some people might think that’s two points dropped’ and I said, ‘Some people can f*** off!’.
“So, those some people can think Bart was out the team because he wasn’t injured - similarly! Does that answer the question?”
McCarthy, who has added young French defender Chris Goteni to his squad, says he’ll continue the search for further additions in the week ahead.
“Of course, as always plates are spinning, that’s probably the same with everybody else and we’ll see which ones fall on whose head. I hope it’s not mine.”
Leeds manager Thomas Christiansen said: “I am disappointed about the result and sorry for my players that we didn’t take something positive from the game.
“I have spoken to Eunan [about the red card] and he has said that the opponent [Jonas Knudsen] went to him and they touched each other.
“But the one that went down, it was him who provoked. There was no sign that he [O’Kane] goes to reply. The one who goes to the ground is the one who stayed on the pitch.
“I believe my player and I have also seen a video – that is where I take my conclusion.
“I was happy with the way they responded and at half-time my message was that we still wanted to take the three points and I believed we could.
“If we had played 11 against 11 I believe we would have taken the three points, for sure.
“I hope we will appeal the decision. There is no evidence that he [O’Kane] goes to him [Knudsen]. He just faced him and when there’s a contact it was provocation and the referee fell for it.” He added: “It has been a really tough week but like the players in the second half we are warriors and we want to fight back.
“I am proud of my players because of the effort that they showed and everyone in the stadium also recognises it was not right that we lost this game."
Regarding Celina's winner, he said: "It was a nice goal but perhaps we could have defended it better."
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