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McCarthy: Worst Home Game of the Season and Worst Performance
Saturday, 10th Feb 2018 18:35

Boss Mick McCarthy admitted the Blues’ dismal goalless draw with table-propping Burton Albion was “probably the worst game” at Portman Road this season and was his side’s “worst performance”.

Town never looked like getting more than a point out of what had been billed as a must-win match against the division’s bottom club, who claimed their first ever point against the Blues.

“It was [as frustrating as it gets for a manager],” he said. “Probably the worst game here all season and our worst performance when I consider how we played and won games earlier in the season. It was tough.

“Everybody is asking me why that was and I say maybe the opposition had a bit of a bearing on that as well because I thought they played well.”

He added: “I think it’s always a combination of both [how we play and the opposition]. I’m not going to blame any one thing but I would imagine [Burton manager] Nigel [Clough] has come in here and said he thought his team played well and they acquitted themselves well.

"I think you have to give some credit to them, but we were disappointing, it was a poor performance by us.”

After a poor first half, McCarthy was pleased with the way his team started the second period but felt they were unable to maintain that improvement.

“We started [the second half] well, but we didn’t get anything from it and it then fell into that malaise again unfortunately,” he admitted.

McCarthy was disappointed that the Blues were unable to build on last week’s 2-0 win at Sunderland.

“Of course. At the end of it though, you just make sure you don’t get beaten. We didn’t play well at all. It was a tough game, they’ve made it really hard for us today.”

The Blues boss had praise for keeper Bartosz Bialkowski, who made two crucial second-half saves: “He’s great, isn’t he? He’s a good goalkeeper.”

McCarthy was also pleased with Mustapha Carayol, who made his Town debut from the bench: “Very much, I thought he played well when he came on, Muzzy.”

The home crowd - the lowest for a league game in almost 20 years - made their feelings regarding McCarthy and his style of football clear on a number of occasions, as they have so often over the last year or so.

“I tell you every week, the only thing I can affect that with is if the team plays well and we win,” McCarthy said when quizzed on the fans’ reaction. “I’ll continue to try and do that.”

Should the players take some responsibility having failed to win a game which they went into as firm favourites?

“That’s the problem, isn’t it, 'firm favourites'?” he reflected. “That doesn’t do us any favours at all.

“We got two goals last week at Sunderland and we could sit in and catch them on the break and make sure it was tough for them to play against us. I thought they did that to us today, certainly in the second half.

“I’m more than cool to get stick for the team performance. There are times when some of the decisions we make with the ball or some of the final passes [aren’t what they should be], but they’re my players, so my responsibility. I’m cool with it. If it takes it off them I’ve no problem.”

McCarthy has often praised his side for their never-say-die spirit and keeping going even when things aren’t going well and says this afternoon's display was no different.

“And they did today, they kept going and a less together and committed bunch of lads could have got beaten in that game,” he added. “And I still go back to it, I don’t see Burton as being [whipping boys].

“I just see the players they’ve got on the pitch, they’ve got a lot of Championship players. And I would imagine they thrived on the fact that we were firm favourites today and there’ll be some suggestion that we took them lightly or we didn’t do it, which if anybody does questions my professionalism and that of the players.

“We didn’t, we haven’t played well and they’ve done well. It’s a combination of both unfortunately.”

McCarthy, who arrived unusually late for his post-match press conference, wouldn’t discuss what he said to his players after the match.

“I wouldn’t tell you,” he said. “That’s my private business. I wouldn’t allow cameras in the dressing room ever, unless we’d won the league and they come and see us popping the corks or we’ve qualified for a World Cup when we let them in, I think that was nice for posterity for them. Other than that, I wouldn’t. It’s private what I do and how I do it.”

Burton boss Nigel Clough was in no doubt his team deserved t win: “Of course, it’s two points dropped. The performance deserved three points. The performance at Aston Villa [when they lost 3-2] deserved something last week.

“To play as well as we have done in two games and only get one point is very harsh on us.”

Despite only picking up just a point and remaining bottom, the draw ended a run of five defeats on the trot in all competitions and Clough says his side is moving in the right direction.

“Of course, from where we come from from the Reading game 10 days ago,” he reflected. ”We keep harking back to it and how bad we were, and we were, to put in two performances like that away from home gives us a lot of encouragement, but only one point.

“But it’s nice to break the run of defeats and nice to keep a clean sheet that we thoroughly deserved today.”

Clough says Darren Bent might have taken his opportunity had he been playing more regularly.

“It’s his second game in eight months, nine months, so you can’t be too harsh on him,” he added. “But if that goes in I think we win the game. But there were numerous other situations as well today.”

Regarding Kyle McFadzean’s late header which Bialkowski saved superbly, Clough said: “I’m not sure if it came off him or the defender. But it certainly ricocheted and it was a brilliant save.

“Ultimately that’s what’s stopped us as much as chances, I think that save was a magnificent save.”

He added: “We tried to make positive substitutions to try and win the game and tried to win it right up until the last minute with the freekick. We couldn’t have done any more today apart from score.”

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jas0999 added 18:39 - Feb 10
What absolute rubbish. Burton had lost their last five and conceded countless goals. Yet according to MM they had something to do with our performance? Wow. WE WERE AT HOME. We should have been at them from minute one. Today was typical MM. It’s time he went. If he stays goodness knows where the club will end up. It’s toxic. Rotten to the core. Where is Evans? What is the plan?

BlueArrow added 18:39 - Feb 10
MM has a cunning stunt

Mr_Jingles added 18:40 - Feb 10
Lowest gate for 20 years ...Hardly surprising when that sort of tripe is dished up on a regular basis.. When will he get the message?

blueboy1981 added 18:41 - Feb 10
No sh-t Sherlock.

TimmyH added 18:41 - Feb 10
You and your mate Mick (Evans) should refund the supporters that went today or at least give them a free ticket to a Cup game next season (perhaps thinking about it that's not a good idea).
This isn't a one off as we all know just a few weeks ago we had the Bolton debacle and the first half was almost as bad as this one (apparently).

You are the manager and manage little entertainment, please go and NO to 2 more years.

Penguinblue added 18:44 - Feb 10
Please just go.

McCarthy OUT - no point waiting any longer - 'your football is s^^^'

dukey44 added 18:45 - Feb 10
Seriously does this man even deserve comments now ??? He is unbelievable really...... R.I.P Ipswich Town Fc with Evans and this tripe Mick at our club sad 😞 😞 days ahead...

Len_Brennan added 18:47 - Feb 10
You really don't want to be firm favourites going into a game; almost impossible to overcome such a burden.

warktheline added 18:47 - Feb 10
It's gone well beyond boredom! McCarthy will have to be dragged screaming and shouting through the exit door!

Smithy added 18:47 - Feb 10
If he had any decency, he'd apologise for that turgid tripe of a performance and admit we were beyond pathetic. But no, again its all about the opposition, as much as I want McCarthy gone, the players today should also come out and apologise for that as that was embarrassing, one poor shot on target against the worst patched up defence in the league, truly woeful

blue75 added 18:55 - Feb 10
We didn’t have a shot in the first half shaky Bywater was in goal for Christ sake if that’s not a invitation to shot on sight I don’t know what is!! There’s no defence for what I had to watch today we set up to draw and if we could nick a win that was a result, Burton on the other hand tried to win from the kick off something I expect us to do. Anyone left defending that has no idea about the beautiful game.

madmouse1959 added 18:55 - Feb 10
What response do you expect from McCarthy. ? They played well and we didn,t ? "Probably" the worst game at home all season ? They made it hard for us ? Bart was super great again ? .............We lost dismally at home to quite a few teams this season Mr McCarthy and quite a few away games we never showed up too. We are losing more fans every game and now the season is effectively over once again. Another easy shift for McCarthy and his players with no cup competitions and no play off challenge. Easy wages.

prebbs007 added 18:56 - Feb 10
The home crowd - the lowest for a league game in almost 20 years

Tells you everything you need to know. This idiot has to go.

Shocking performance. Shocking result. Shocking effort. There may not be the funds we all think should be available but there is no doubt this is HIS team. HIS “proper blokes” HIS tactics. HIS style. HIS coaching.

Utter utter disgrace and it’s ALL down to mcmuck

1966 added 18:57 - Feb 10
Football Played to Feet and not in the Clouds Costs Nothing, you insult us Fans with will or won't I Be Here Next Season. I Think your Arrogance is Above All , An Insult After watching That . Just Do The Honourable Thing Please....

oldblue added 19:01 - Feb 10
not much to say about that is there ? At least he has the good grace to admit that it was poor....we all hope that things will get better...but they don't..time and again we watch poor performances from this team ..I don't buy the low budget argument...look at Burton ...they played the ball on the floor..with movement and passing ..not world beating but made our lot look embarrassing...I repeat my mantra from my previous posts..its down to the coaching ...what did Bournemouth do on a similar budget ...its all down to the coaching...MM gets so much deserved stick but lets not forget his sidekick TC ..he is part of this mess too..get careful what you wish for someone said to me at the match today...well I wish for a more progressive who spends time on the grass ..honing skills and letting players play with freedom not fear....and not encouraging them to hit it away when no other player is within 10 yards of them ....Its not the players...they are good enough in this division but would be more successful if coached in a more positive and creative manner......I fear for the future of our club if this is allowed to continue.

blythburgh_blue added 19:01 - Feb 10
My hour is almost come,
When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames
Must render up myself.

cfmoses added 19:02 - Feb 10
“they kept going and a less committed bunch of lads could have got beaten in that game “ these comments beggar belief. Total commitment meant no shots at all in the first half and only one on target in 90 minutes...against the bottom club. McCarthy as usual offers no apologies for yet another dire performance and nil entertainment. He rarely accepts any accountability for bad performances and lets face it in the last two years there have been so many where we fail to string 3 passes together or show any cohesion or passion. He in my opinion must now go down as our worst ever manager...even worse than John Duncan!!

Kesgraveblue57 added 19:05 - Feb 10
McCarthy just hasn't got the ability to turn things around because he is the one who put us where we are at the moment a very average side McCarthy has to go The thought of him being here for another two years is nothing short of horrific

Wickets added 19:05 - Feb 10
It has to be said home against a team that is not only bottom but lost their last 5 games and we set up to defend with 2 holding midfielders thats 7 players, including Bart, just defending! nobody creating in midfield and nobody who is good enough to play a foward pass!

JCBLUE added 19:06 - Feb 10
Please go

martin587 added 19:06 - Feb 10
MM!There are not enough words to describe how terrible that performance was today,and to be honest the blame stops with YOU.!

BlueWax added 19:07 - Feb 10
Drips on head from Sir Alf roof, Wax 3 Joe 2.

Northstandveteran added 19:07 - Feb 10
"I just see the players they've got on the pitch, they've got a lot of championship players."

Really? A team with players playing in the championship?

Oh, thanks very much Mick....

Bluetone added 19:13 - Feb 10
Now McCarthy copy this out in your best writing and announce it.
“I have today tendered my resignation as Manager of Ipswich Town Football Club. I freely admit I am not up to the job and in recognition of this I will not be seeking any settlement fee.
To the club, it’s directors, staff, players and above all it’s supporters I offer my sincere apologies for my abject failure.

I wish the club success in the future, thank you”.

leftie1972 added 19:14 - Feb 10
Oh balls.⚽️

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