|Sheffield Wednesday 1 v 2 Ipswich Town|
Tuesday, 6th March 2018 Kick-off 19:45
McCarthy Hoping Two-Goal Waghorn Can Now Go on a Run
Tuesday, 6th Mar 2018 22:47
Town boss Mick McCarthy hopes top scorer Martyn Waghorn can go on a goalscoring run having ended his drought by scoring twice as the Blues won 2-1 away at Sheffield Wednesday. McCarthy, who has never lost a game as a manager at Hillsborough, felt his side's "good team performance" was worthy of the three points.
“I think overall we’ve deserved to win,” he said. “I think it was a right, royal scrap in the first half, we didn’t allow them to play.
“For the last few years they’ve been a really good football team, they’d have passed it around and made the pitch big.
“I thought we stopped that, we matched them in every department. I thought we just shaded it, although I know Bart saved one with his face early on, it’s hit him in the kipper, but he kept it out the net, which he’s pretty good at.
“And then I think in the second half we’ve been the better team. I know they got into it when they scored, that’s always the case, they’re going to push, but it’s great to see Waggy get his goals and the second was real quality and I think we deserved it overall.”
Waghorn hadn’t scored for 15 games prior to today’s brace, does McCarthy think the summer signing from Rangers can now go on a run?
“I sincerely hope so!” he said. “I was getting growly at him in the first half because he shot from about 30 yards and missed at the near post, and then he hit one with his right foot.
“It looked like he was getting frustrated at not scoring, and I know he was. He started snatching at them and doing things he shouldn’t, so for him now to get his goals he can calm down a bit, play his game and he’ll get more.”
Regarding the winning goal, he added: “When we got the freekick, TC was telling him to shoot. Whether he took that on board or not or he just decided himself I don’t know. You see the corners and the freekicks he takes, he’s got a wand of a left foot.”
The victory was Town’s second in a row, their first back-to-back victories since winning at Derby a the end of November and then at home to Nottingham Forest at the start of December. Does McCarthy feel his side how has some momentum at a vital stage of the season with only 11 games left to play?
“I hope so,” he continued. “Two really good wins, to go to Preston and Sheffield Wednesday.
“Of course, having missed the Hull game, I was asked whether it would affect us and I said I hoped it wouldn’t and it didn’t. We’ve still got that game to play on Tuesday next. Six points from two games is great.”
The win moves Town seven points from the play-offs with a game in hand but McCarthy continues to play down his team’s chances of making the top six having previous ruled the Blues out of the running.
“Still have,” he insisted. “I keep saying, I didn’t say we’d stop trying, ‘That’s it, we’ll pack up and stop playing and stop trying to win games and get there.
“But I still think it’s too much. Seven points behind you say? With a game in hand? Let’s hope we win the game in hand, eh?”
The Town boss was pleased with the impact subs Freddie Sears and Grant Ward made: “I think Muzzy did some really good work, dropping deep, picking it up and running but we had a different threat when Freddie came on. He runs in behind, stretches it and he was excellent, as he has been. He’s very selfless.
“Grant Ward as well, but they’ve all played well, it’s been a good team performance by us today.”
Regarding Mustapha Carayol, who was replaced by Sears in the first half having picked up an injury, he said: “He’s hurt his groin.”
Sheffield Wednesday have now lost five in a row in all competitions and are without a win in six. Manager Jos Luhukay says as a result his players are lacking in confidence.
“I think over 90 minutes we have a team with no belief in themselves," he said.
"They don’t have the confidence to play offensively and to create chances and over 90 minutes I think there were only two or three chances that we had, and Lucas [Joao] scored one of them.
“But it was not enough today to make a result or to get the points. Ipswich also had maybe three chances and they scored twice and, of course, it was a fantastic freekick, the second goal.
“At the end we have not the dynamic for playing offensively with more movement, with more chances to come to a good result.”
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