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Gallery & reaction: Mick McCarthy calls upon Ipswich Town supporters to get behind the team following post-match confrontation

PUBLISHED: 11:40 26 October 2014

Tommy Smith celebrates his goal for Town.

Tommy Smith celebrates his goal for Town.


Ipswich v Huddersfield: Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy has urged the club’s supporters to get behind their side after the Blues let a two-goal lead slip to draw 2-2 with Huddersfield Town at Portman Road today.

McCarthy turned and confronted fans behind the dug-out as boos rang out at the full-time whistle. The hosts had led through goals from Tommy Smith (21) and Christophe Berra (54), but were pegged back by Nahki Wells’ 71st minute penalty and 82nd minute header.

Having previously gone eight games unbeaten, Town are now winless in five and down to 10th in the Championship table having let a lead slip in their last four outings. Last-gasp equalisers were conceded against Nottingham Forest and Blackburn, with Cardiff coming-from-behind to win 3-1 in midweek.

Asked about his angry post-match exchange with fans, the Blues boss said: “That’s the way it is at the end of the game when you’ve just lost a two-goal lead. Something was just said to me that irked me.”

So it was just a case of frustration all-round? “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” he said. “I don’t... It doesn’t matter. It’s just frustration.”

Can he understand that frustrated with another lead having being let slip?

“I can,” said McCarthy. “But it’s the same squad of players that everybody was lauding for costing nothing and getting us in the top six. Everybody enjoys that when it’s going really well. And when it’s going really well, things drop for you.

“When it changes a little bit, which it has for us... Why? Have we suddenly become bad players and bad coaches? No. It’s just a bit of a tough period. I think that’s when everybody has to get behind us, not against us.

“It shouldn’t suddenly be ‘everything’s wrong’, because it’s not. I try and keep myself on that even keel. When things just start going the other way, how are you going to change that? The way you change it is by supporting people and making sure they keep doing the right things.

“As much as I was angry in the dressing room afterwards, I’ll come in on Monday, watch the game again and be back to where I should be.”

Reflecting on the match, he said: “Maybe we are fortunate to come away with a point in the end. Huddersfield played well, they changed their system to suit us or stop us but we were 2-0 up when they were playing 3-5-2. They went 4-4-2 and it changed the momentum of the game, although it’s the penalty which changes the momentum really.

“They were just starting to play well, we were preparing to get the subs on to counter-act their shape and they got a penalty. It swung completely in their favour.”

Asked if he felt the penalty award, for Luke Chambers grappling with Grant Holt in the box, was contentious, McCarthy replied: “It’s a penalty. Look, Grant Holt was bumping and barging all game, which is the way he plays – he’s been a good player and he still is.

“I think the two of them had hold of each other in the box, but when the defender is facing his own goal and still has hold of him then he’s going to give a penalty for it.

“I’ve been there. Let me clear something up, Luke Chambers is not naïve, that’s for sure. He’s just playing against a good player who’s taken advantage and spun him around. That’s what happens when you’re playing against good players.”

He added: “We got a point when we could have lost it. When they equalised they were on top and we had to scrap it out. As much as I’m disappointed we’ve chipped a two-goal lead, at least we didn’t lose it.”

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