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McCarthy: Second Goal a Killer Blow
Saturday, 3rd Feb 2018 18:21

Boss Mick McCarthy felt Town’s second goal, netted by Sunderland defender Adam Matthews in first-half injury time, was the crucial moment in the 2-0 victory over the Black Cats at the Stadium of Light, the Blues' first win at the Wearsiders’ current ground.

“A very decent away performance? Yes, just print that, that’ll be fine. I am delighted with it,” McCarthy reflected on the win, Town’s first away from home of 2018.

“My assessment of it is that we had to weather a real storm for 20 minutes, it might have been longer.

“I thought they were excellent without putting the ball in the net for 20 minutes. I had to change the way we were playing a bit and put Skusey on their 53 [Ovie Ejaria] and stop him having a field day.

“And put Waggy and Callum on the other two. I was trying to leave the front three up and it wasn’t working, so we had to drop them back in and be a bit more solid.

“And when we did I thought we frustrated them, they couldn’t play through us and we started to break on them and got into the game.

“Joe Garner got an absolutely magnificent goal, it was a fabulous goal and the two wide players [Freddie Sears and Grant Ward] who came in combined for the second.

“I was trying to give it to Freddie but apparently the special goals panel has sat and they’ve told me it’s an own goal.

“But nevertheless he was there, he was in trying to put it in. I thought him and Wardy were great having come into the game.

“They’ve had a lot of the ball in the second half but I don’t think Bart has really made any saves, to be honest.”

Regarding the timing of the second goal moments from the end of the first period, he added: “I could see [Sunderland manager] Chris Coleman’s reaction to it, I was stood next to him.

“He probably had a plan in his head about what they could do and had to change it or carry on. They could rally the troops because they’d done alright, but that was a killer blow for everybody.”

McCarthy, who was manager of Sunderland, who are second bottom of the Championship, between 2003 and 2006, says that although he still has strong feelings for the club, sentiment goes out the window on a matchday.

“I have got no sympathy for anybody I play against or my teams play against, I never did,” he said.

“Whether that’s Barnsley or… I wouldn’t have to give Man City any sympathy would I really? Millwall or any of them.

“We’re all professionals and we all want to win for our own teams. I’m sad to see the plight that the club is in, but I know how hard it is to turn around when it’s going that way. It’s like having an oil tanker and a canoe paddle to turn it around.”

Regarding his team selection with Sears and Ward coming into the team and Bersant Celina on the bench, he added: “Good, wasn’t it? What are you going to ask me next? ‘Why didn’t you play Santie?’, I’ve just been asked that one.

“Wardy, he just gives us pace, [he and Sears] give us pace, they give us thrust, they want to run forward, they can run off Joe.

“I thought Freddie does that and he stretches teams so he can play. And it was fresh legs in the team.”

He says the players celebrating the second goal with Sears - who is without a goal in 30 first-team matches since scoring against Newcastle on April 17th, 292 days ago - in order to try to make it look like his, illustrates the closeness of his players.

“I think that just shows the level of team spirit that’s in our squad,” he said. “The level of camaraderie that’s there. They’re a great bunch, they are fantastic lads, it’s nice to see that.”

Sears played and scored for the U23s on Monday as they beat Millwall 5-0 at Playford Road, something McCarthy says he didn’t tell the former West Ham man he would be doing until the day of the game.

“They all played in the U23s on Monday and so often U23s managers would bemoan the fact that I’m putting first-team players in to have a game.

“With Freddie, I didn’t phone him on the Sunday to tell him he was playing in the U23s because I didn’t want to piss his Sunday and his Monday off and I thought I’d wait and tell him on Monday when he came in for training.

“And I did piss him off, I have to be honest, he wasn’t happy. But then he went, ‘Alright Gaffer’. And he went and did it properly. You might think, ‘They they should do it properly’. But you’ve all watched U23s games and first-teamers don’t do it properly.

“But Webbo did, Wardy did, Luke Hyam did and they won the game. It’s testament to them that they’ve kept their heads up and they keep doing it and then they can play like that. That’s because they do it right.”

Regarding man of the match Ward, he said: “We saw on his debut what a talented individual we thought he was when he came on and scored a hat-trick and he’s been a really good player for us. It’s great to see him back because he certainly gives us something, something different others can’t.”

Garner appeared to run to celebrate with McCarthy after scoring his goal before passing his boss and taking a swig on a bottle.

“I never, ever thought he was coming to me,” McCarthy continued. “I don’t get caught in that trap, putting my hand out and they run past me. Forget that one!

“He said he needed a drink. So do I, I haven’t had one since New Year’s Eve, by the way. If I get home I might have one.”

Sunderland manager Chris Coleman was fuming about the second goal and felt his team ought to have had a penalty when Jonas Knudsen appeared to handle George Honeyman’s second-half cross.

“In the first half an hour, I didn’t have a complaint,” the former Wales boss said. “Good vibe, good stuff, should have gone 1-0 up.

"But the all important first goal, we don’t recover from. But it’s the second goal again, seconds before half-time, that’s incredible. For us to concede again like that was [incredible].And that knocks the life out of you, of course it does.

“Again, in the second half we tried, we looked naive in certain situations. If you look at Ipswich, they’ve got a lot of boys there that know the division and they’re streetwise. Sometimes we’re naive.

“But with 25 minutes to go it was a penalty, it’s got to be a penalty. I’m not saying that’s why we lost the game, but make the decision.

“It was handball. If he was two or three yards away he can’t get his hand out of the way, but he’s 10 or 15 yards away. Handball, it’s a penalty. Whether we score it or not doesn’t matter, it’s a penalty and we don’t get that.”

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LWNR2013 added 18:28 - Feb 3
Good report

clint_eastwood added 18:30 - Feb 3
Holy cr@p! We haven't been playing much hoof ball for 2 games now! Chambers has been passing sideways instead of hoofing in his own half!! What the hell happened? Keep it going lads. I'm loving it!!

carlo88 added 18:39 - Feb 3
I've had a sudden thought that without Mick we could be in a position like Sunderland. "Be careful what you wish for" is a pretty tedious saying, but in our case it could just be true.

unknown100 added 18:42 - Feb 3
Good result, burton at home and Norwich away, seasons in our hands lads

TractorBeezer added 18:57 - Feb 3
Well done MM, TC and lads....and our supporters. Not a pretty game but thought we pressed and defended well. Garneys and Waggy were a handful and good to see Wardy back and making his mark. The handball looked like ball to hand....the 15 yards suggested by Coleman was the exaggeration of the year...but I will double check the replay. Beer will taste good tonight.

Mr_Evans added 19:09 - Feb 3
Sears’ reaction when the 2nd goal speaks volumes. Certainly a player with zero confidence at the moment.

HarryfromBath added 19:20 - Feb 3
I think Mick's summation is spot on. I was following the game on the radio/chat room/ Sunderland forum and when the first goal went in it was clear that the Wearsiders' confidence was rocked. I remember thinking that a quick second goal would kill them and was thrilled when it went in.

fents71 added 19:47 - Feb 3
clint_eastwood I thought it was just me that noticed Luke Chambers only passes sideways or hoofs it! Mentioned it to my son last week, So funny. I'm sure he's a good captain but the man has little football talent. As for today, its a good win it what could of been a potential banana skin. Since Coleman arrived at Sunderland, I've been waiting for them to hit form and spank someone. Thankfully it wasn't us. Be good to carry the win forward to next Saturday, beat Burton and have some momentum and confidence going into the derby.

warktheline added 20:55 - Feb 3
Oh the 'careful what you wish for' bridge have resurfaced ! How dreary and uninspiring ! yawn!

tpsontour added 21:42 - Feb 3
It is no mean feat being 17 points clear of the bottom three on our budget, which is bottom five in the division. It shows the importance of being a stable, properly managed club with players who want to be there giving their all when you see Sunderland and Hull in the bottom three with their £90 million parachute payments over three years and players earning four times ours. As for people being bored of hearing 'be careful what you wish for' we're all bored of being in this divison. But that boredom stems from an owner unable or unwilling to invest enough to give us a chance of getting out of the division. Mick is making the best of a bad hand, getting the best out of a limited bunch of bargain bin players. If he walks, hounded out by a vocal minority section of our support who cannot recognise the abilities of him and his scouts, no-one of his calibre will want the job and an inferior replacement will be hamstrung by the same shoestring, most likely resulting in the relegation battle our financial handicap would suggest we should already be in.


ElginCityBlue added 22:25 - Feb 3
Having been all the way Sunderland and back today, I thought it was a poor performance. We got two goals against a poor Sunderland Sunderland side and that gave us a chance to rest on our laurels.

Having said that, a win is a valuable 3 points and having taken the 3 away points to a side like Sunderland, I’m going to celebrate.

itfcbam added 08:39 - Feb 4
I think the issue with the vocal is many haven't liked MM from day 1. If we purely look at it being results business then you would have to be nieve and completely unrealistic to think he is doing a rubbish job as he is working on a bottom 6/8 budget and has significantly exceeded that every season bar last season.
Now the dilemma is the football hasn't been as pretty to watch, however there has been times where we have looked good to watch. We could go back to so called better football however under the previous 2 managers this left us fighting relegation. What we currently have is a manager overachieving on the comparative budget he has to work with but is that enough?

Gcon added 09:50 - Feb 4
Agreed. Also a lot of 'the vocal' no longer attend games and therefore haven't witnessed the improvements this season, in terms of passing the ball, notable lack of hoofball & the desire to win that stems from great team spirit. Admittedly these attributes don't always mean great football but its generally a vastly improved spectacle.

Dissboyitfc added 09:54 - Feb 4
carlo88.... and without MM we could be doing a Huddersfield, a team who are now playing in the Premier league and managed to get there on a budget! So stop comparing our team and the fortunes of those who have collapsed, start comparing us to winning teams, it can be done!

blueheartXT added 10:06 - Feb 4
Dissboyitfc for every Huddersfield there are Leeds Sheffield Wednesday Forrest Derby and all the clubs with parachute payments to battle against

It’s a tough league and in losing Mick although at times it’s awful to watch please name some potential replacements that will work under this current budget

Pilgrimblue added 10:08 - Feb 4
Great result and a bit unexpected TBO. However it was good to see Freddie in the box for second goal. That's where he should be not out on the wing!

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