MANAGER’S REACTION: Terry Connor hopes the 4-0 thrashing of Middlesbrough gives ill boss Mick McCarthy some cheer
PUBLISHED: 18:22 02 February 2013 | UPDATED: 10:09 04 February 2013
Ipswich v Middlesbrough: THAT was for you Mick!
Ipswich Town assistant manager Terry Connor hailed his side’s efforts following their 4-0 win home win over promotion-chasing Middlesbrough this afternoon, with manager Mick McCarthy – still struggling with the virus which has laid him low all week – having watched the game via a video link at home.
With Tommy Smith twice heading home from corners and strike duo David McGoldrick and Aaron Mclean both on the scoresheet, Connor said: “Mick’s absolutely delighted. I spoke to him before and after the game and he’s delighted with the result and the manner of the performance.
“He’s been really struggling for two or three days. He really wanted to make it in today, but every time he gets up I think he’s feeling very weak and tired.
“I think that’s it’s his first game in 22/23 years as a manager that he’s actually had to miss.
“It was good that we got the result for him and hopefully it’s made him feel a whole lot better.”
He continued: “Mick picked the team, all I did was make the substitutions.
“We’ve been in constant touch all week and he knows me well enough that I will carry his instructions out to the letter.
“He just wished me all the best and said ‘you know what you’re doing, just get on with it’.
“He’ll hopefully be back to work on Monday.”
Reflecting on the a key moment in the game, when Boro striker Lukas Jutkiewicz headed just wide seconds after the restart with Town 1-0 in front, Connor said: “It’s always those times in the game where you look back and think ‘if that had gone it, it could have been a different result’.
“We got caught at Bristol City soon after half-time (last weekend), went on to lose the game 2-1 and everyone forgets the manner of the performance.
“Today we got away with it, he headed it six inches past the post and within two or three minutes we’d scored a second goal.
“That gave us the belief and confidence to go on and win the game 4-0.
“It was a good result and a good performance, but that was undoubtedly a turning point.”
With Smith taking his goal tally for the season to four, Connor said: “It’s a bit of payback for all the times that Tommy has been in the box and the flight of the ball has just beaten him. You have to keep persevering and this week is his week. They were two superb headers.
“Strikers scoring, a clean sheet, a good performance – we’ve had a good day.”
Meanwhile, Connor confirmed that winger Lee Martin had missed the match with a hamstring injury. He said: “He finished training yesterday and just complained of tightness in the hamstring. We thought it would be okay, but he came in this afternoon and he said it still didn’t feel right. The physio said we’d have been taking a real risk if we’d have played him.”
Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray, who saw his side slip to a fourth successive loss, said: “We’ve had some decent performances in this poor run, but today was a poor performance.
“We had an excuse against Derby County when we had a few players out injured, but we didn’t today. There is no excuse.
“We came here in a really positive frame of mind aiming to get three points and hoping to push on and really threaten the top two again. Today wasn’t good enough.
“Let’s give Ipswich some credit though. They are a very honest team who are difficult to play against. Their 4-4-2 system is hard to beat and they work very hard.
“Our play is based around fluency and getting between the lines, but they didn’t allow us to do that today.
“Ipswich, out of possession, are a decent football side. If they scored four every week they wouldn’t be where they are in the league.
“They’ve obviously struggled for goals and they probably wish they could play against us every week.”
– See Monday’s EADT and Ipswich Star for match analysis, comment and more reaction.