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No selection headache for boss Mick McCarthy after FA Cup loss at Portsmouth

22:50 19 January 2016

The referee points to the spot Piotr Malarczyk concedes a first half penalty at Portsmouth

The referee points to the spot Piotr Malarczyk concedes a first half penalty at Portsmouth

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Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy admits none of his youngsters or fringe players have given him much of a selection headache following last night’s 2-1 defeat at League Two side Portsmouth in an FA Cup third round replay.

When the two teams first met at Portman Road, a much-changed Town side were fortunate to salvage a 2-2 draw against a team 45 places below them in the Football League pyramid. Tonight an even weaker line-up was beaten far more comfortably than the scoreline suggests.

Gary Roberts’ penalty and Marc McNulty’s header had put Pompey 2-0 up at the break, Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ long-range reply on the hour was the Blues’ only shot on target all game, while the visitors ended the game with 10-men after Piotr Malarczyk was sent-off for a second yellow card.

“It’s confirmed to me what I probably already know – my best side is the one that’s been playing,” said McCarthy, who left the vast majority of his senior players behind in Suffolk with Saturday’s Championship clash at top-six rivals Birmingham in mind.

“I couldn’t risk any of them. To have a chance of being in those play-offs I need that best team playing week-in, week-out.

“Unfortunately that’s why some of the others had to play tonight. Did any of them give me a problem when I’m picking my team over the next few weeks? I don’t think so, no. I know the ones who are capable of playing.”

Asked if he had any regrets about changing his entire starting XI following Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Preston, he said: “None whatsoever.” Asked whether Portsmouth were the best team in both games, he simply said: “Yeah.”

He added: “I’m disappointed to lose, of course I am. I didn’t come here to lose.

“It didn’t help that these haven’t played for 10 days – they looked fresh, they played well and they played well at our place too.

“It’s a shame our fans didn’t see a particularly good performance from the lads who came in. I think Brett (Pitman) and Reg (Luke Varney) up front had to work damn hard, Ainsley (Maitland-Niles), Luke (Hyam) and Tabby (Jay Tabb) too, but I was looking to some of the young ones who came in to give me something to think about.

“If I need them over the next 19 games they will have to perform but none of them have given me any great headaches in terms of picking them. I know who the best players are.”

22 comments

  • Vernon 1994: That's a big assumption that I am an ITFC supporter.....Actually I'm no,t though living in the area I would like to see them do well and even get promoted.................which isn't likely to happen. My point was a general one on how many teams disrespect their own fans by playing weak teams in the cups, when in reality, the cups are the only avenue to give their fans something to look forward to................a cup run may see a game against a top class side (rather than with respect teams like Portsmouth!) .............even though the "top class" sides would also send a team of reserve players to Portman Road.

    Report this comment

    england1770

    Thursday, January 21, 2016

  • On not one but two occasions and we can't beat a league two club, how embarrassing hey! Further more we have a billionaire owner and we can't even spend a few quid on some decent players (Didn't we make a profit last season.) £100 million minimum is what you get next season for a year in the premier league. I like Ipswich town but we don't deserve to go up based on these performances and if we do it will only benefit our tight chairman anyway.

    Report this comment

    mr_tall

    Thursday, January 21, 2016

  • Marcus and Mick have ripped the heart of our club. I know there are some that would have us believe that they are our saviours but personally I would rather support a restarted itfc club in the lower leagues than spend the next 20 years watching hoofball in the championship. An owner with no ambition and not a clue about what football supporters want and a manager that thinks launching the ball for 90 minutes is football and totally disrespects all cup competitions is an extremely dull combination. Seasons pass, transfer windows come and go, we have a maximum of twothree cup games a year and nothing ever happens. Even the clown Keane got us to a cup semi final. I grew up watching us win fa & Uefa cups but what have my kids got to be enthralled by? I guess they can look forward to watching us lose to brum on Saturday after the first team had a nice midweek break (as per the Brightonman Utd scenario). If this is football under Marcus Evans then I think our 25th year as season ticket holders could be our last. Football used to be fun, it isn't anymore.

    Report this comment

    russell mariner

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • All of the top 8-10 championship teams have invested over this transfer window except the "bean counter". Anybody who thinks we have a chance of getting promoted are totally dilusional. Old MM, well he's happy enough earning £1M per annum and in fairness has done a fair job but the top 6 bubble is showing signs of bursting and given that Blackburn, Sheffield Weds and QPR have also spent we could easily end up in the bottom half. That said, with the "bean counter" sitting at home with his spreadsheet watching the pennies survival in this league is a good result. What do I think of it all, well ME and the nodding dogs should be ashamed of themselves conning loyal supporters year after year. Go on get lost and put it up for sale, you're not interested in it anyway other than feathering your own nests.

    Report this comment

    floridaboy1

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • play up pompey

    Report this comment

    vernon1944

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • So much for strength in depth I don't think the first eleven have anything to worry about after portsmouth but what worries me most is perhaps thats why Ipswich performances are so sluggish there is no competition for places

    Report this comment

    expatriot

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • In the event of town somehow getting promotion, I am afraid very little of the money would go towards strengthening the squad.

    Report this comment

    Cyril Baker

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • I suggest that many of our supporters are living in a time warp. Just listen, the fairytale is over, football has changed, and the politics of football has changed, since the glory days of the FA Cup, this world no longer exists, today, the dream of playing in higher leagues, is what most clubs are chasing. To suggest that supporters should get their money back, is just about the daftest thing I have ever heard. The manager said beforehand, the team he was going to pick, so they can hardly complain. I don't think a lot of our supporters seem to understand simple logic. Modern football is played at a very high tempo, to suggest we take a full strength team, on a long journey, to play in a helter skelter match, the ask them them to embark on another long journey on Saturday, against a team that had no midweek match, then your living in cloud cuckoo land. The manager was correct, the fairytale finished years ago. Get over it

    Report this comment

    jungle boy

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • Somewhat scary,but also amusing to see the likes of Jason think 'Evans' should invest. Just goes to show that there are still some lemmings that do not realise what the drastic consequences of being an offshore investment actually are. Well I can reassure Jason that 'Evans' is indeed investing - and continues to take money out of the club at an eye-watering rate - hence the bewilderingly high debt.... and vanishing act that is applied to any money raised on asset sales - be they players, training ground or indeed paper clips. Slightly more reassuring to see the more or less 100% irate views of sensible supporters who seem outraged at the club's appalling stance and behaviour.

    Report this comment

    Pundit

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • To be honest, I don't think MM even wants promotion . I think he's realised if we do go up theres a good chance of him getting the push to bring in a bigger name manager. Meanwhile if he settles for losing in the playoffs he knows his job is safe.

    Report this comment

    andyrobs

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • england 1770 lousy ground easily beatable you were outplayed in both games sour grapes? i think so

    Report this comment

    vernon1944

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • ... But haven't we been told we have a strong squad and couldn't possibly improve on it? As I see it, our fringe players aren't good enough to compete with a fourth tier team! New investment required please Mr Evans. Urgently.

    Report this comment

    Jason

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • The day Ipswich won the FA Cup is still the best day ever in the 55 years i have been supporting the team,the excitement of boarding the coach to Wembley,the electric atmosphere inside the stadium the jubilation at the final whistle and i have never known the town to be so buzzing as it was that night,the pubs,bars ,clubs and town centre crammed full,you could feel the elation in the air,that night had such a special atmosphere that if you bumped into your worst enemy you would buy him a pint and give him a hug.For MM to dismiss the FA Cup so lightly is an insult to both club and supporters.

    Report this comment

    Ipswich and proud

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • a bad defeat and we don't seem to care about the FA cup but why? Surely a cup run would do some good and would make a change from the up and down performances in the championship but I do agree with the comments that we don't want to be promoted as half the team would leave, why would they risk that? Money talks I'm afraid.

    Report this comment

    kev70

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • Quite Blue Rico. It makes you wonder why they at there at all as they are clearly unable to provide any kind of back up to Mick's 'Best Team' in the event of injuries. ME's parsimony looks increasingly like a case of penny wise, pound foolish.

    Report this comment

    Gobby

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • If anyone thinks that the whole team would be changed if we got in the Premier League they are living in cloud cuckoo land. There's no way that even with the millions on offer that they could afford it. Anyway it's bye the bye cause they won't get promoted anyway. MM said last night that the game at Portsmouth has shown him what he has and that's eleven players. If sears, Murphy or any of the other nine with perhaps the exception being the goalie got injured and were out for half a dozen games Town would be mid table. Why does MM come out with statements claiming he can't get better than what he has and then say's basically that what he has aren't good enough ? If Town now go to Birmingham and lose what has last nights game achieved except ridicule on local and mainstream TV. Getting beaten comprehensively by a lower league team and then being told that they won't get into the first team has done the young players no good and shown that Maitland Niles, Varney and the rest of the older brigade are just rattling around in the squad picking up decent wages for bugger all.

    Report this comment

    whymarkmariner

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • I don't get it Mick ... Guaranteed premier league opposition at Portman road if we had beaten portsmouth ....not only would that be a money spinner for the town and boy we need the money..!! but a chance to see what your squad could do against a premier team .. only you think it's not worth it....I believe that you think your still running a premier league team , get off your high horse and give respect to the Cups and respect to the traveling fans ... you have lost my respect mick.

    Report this comment

    deeber

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • Lets hope we don't get any bad injuries before the end of the season as clearly we dont have adequate replacements.

    Report this comment

    Blue Rico

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • Let's be honest here, the players don't want to get promoted, why would they? If by some fluke ITFC won the Play Offs, they would virtually all be sold as they are no where near good enough to play in the Premiership! That means in getting promoted they would in effect be losing their well paid jobs. However, almost making it...but not quite, a narrow defeat in the Play Offs, or finishing a credible seventh in the league, allows them a further season in the Championship and all that that brings, as it is as good now as it is going to get for the vast majority of them.

    Report this comment

    england1770

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • The FAC is "just about" still the best cup competition in the world but McCarthy seems to think it's hardly worth getting out of bed for. If Ipswich can't be bothered to send a decent team to beat an easily beatable team like Portsmouth and give the fans an exciting and winnable next round game, then Town should be ashamed of themselves and give all who went to that lousy stadium on a freezing cold night their money back! The day we won the FAC was a supporter's dream and would be again if we got to Wembley but McCarthy doesn't think so. Sad.

    Report this comment

    John Maynard

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • Why are any of them on the payroll if not good enough?. Clubs a complete mess from Evans down.

    Report this comment

    Brobat blue

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • Now MM has admitted what we already knew and that with nothing to spend and the Academy producing no talent we have no strength in depth. To make it feel even worse, Norwich have just invested about 18 million to increase their playing strength. We just have to face up and admit that we can never compete with the Big Boys like them.

    Report this comment

    irongloves

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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