Reaction: McCarthy on ‘appalling’ defending, refereeing inconsistency and Bishop’s return
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Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy admitted that more ‘appalling’ defending cost his side in this afternoon’s 2-0 Championship defeat at Aston Villa.
The Blues switched off after a half-cleared corner to allow Albert Adomah to break the deadlock in the 36th minute, then Dominic Iorfa’s slip led to Adomah netting the killer second midway through the second half.
Town may be one of the division’s leading scorers with 30 goals to their name, but they also have the leakiest defence outside the bottom five with 28 conceded in 18 matches.
McCarthy said recently that his team had ‘taken conceding soft goals to a new level’ following a 3-1 defeat at Cardiff and when it was put to him that more defensive lapses has cost his side again today, he replied: “Yes they have, yeah.
“Prior to the (first) goal I thought it was a foul on our goalkeeper, equally as much – if it was – on theirs when we scored (Joe Garner’s 16th minute finish disallowed for a foul on Sam Johnstone after an inswinging corer was fumbled under pressure). Sadly both incidents were treated differently.
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“But then it was appalling defending by us after that. We ran out under the ball and didn’t defend it properly and playing against good players you get punished. They don’t need any help.”
He continued: “I thought we were the best team up until the first goal to be honest with you, but goals change games. If we had scored the first goal the place would have been very quiet – it was actually up until that goal – but then again if my auntie had you know what then she’d be my uncle.
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“Aston Villa are an efficient side and once they are in front they are very difficult to play against.”
He added: “We can defend better, as individuals, and not be naive like we were on Wednesday night – that should never have happened (conceding a stoppage-time equaliser at home to Sheffield Wednesday).
“It’s about being ruthless. That’s something we need to be.
“Maybe had we come away with three points in our pocket from Wednesday night we’d have all felt better today. Then when you get the disappointments on the pitch it’s hard to contend with them, I have to be honest.
“We’ve just got to defend better and we’ll keep working at it.”
McCarthy introduced attack-minded duo Emyr Huws and Bersant Celina in the 61st minute, but Villa doubled the lead just five minutes later.
“It’s sad that because when subs go on they like to make an impact, but they didn’t even get a chance,” said McCarthy. “We’ll never know what would have happened if it had stayed at 1-0 (a little longer).”
The Blues boss then replaced the injured Iorfa (hamstring) with fit-again Teddy Bishop in the 76th minute. It was the injury-hit midfielder’s first senior appearance since April and only his fourth this calender year.
“The bog standard sub would have been to put (Jordan) Spence on for my right-back, but I really wanted Bish on the pitch and Callum (Connolly) can play right-back because that’s what he is,” explained McCarthy.
“I wanted him to sample 15 minutes of football at this level, which he hasn’t done for a long, long time.
“If he’s come through it fine, which he has, then it will do him good, me good, the team good, the squad good, the club good and the fans good. Let’s hope we can keep him fit.
“Having him and Emyr (Huws) back is great because they are both good players, they are just not good in the treatment room.”
Town now head to Derby County on Tuesday night for the fourth of five games in a busy 15 game schedule. The Rams won 3-0 at Middlesbrough today.
“Yeah, that’s the way it’s fallen, unfortunately,” said McCarthy, speaking about the rearranged fixture. “It would be nice to have a free week, like other teams have, but we’ve got Derby and we’ll have to go up there and give our best.”