Barnsley 1 Ipswich Town 2 reaction: Mick McCarthy hopes he can win back fans’ hearts and minds
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Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy hopes the Blues’ perfect start to the season will help win back the hearts and minds of supporters.
Town came from behind to win 2-1 at Barnsley this afternoon, courtesy of goals from half-time substitutes David McGoldrick and Martyn Waghorn, and make it three successive victories at the start of a new campaign for the first time since 2002.
“It’s just a lovely start for us bearing in mind the end of last season,” said McCarthy, referring to the sour mood which surrounded Town’s dire 16th-place finish. “It’s really pleasing that we’ve played well and won games. Hopefully we can capture the hearts and minds of our fans because we lost them last year.”
Following encouraging performances against Birmingham (1-0 at home in the league) and Luton (2-0 away in the Carabao Cup), Town were given their toughest test yet this afternoon.
Indeed, the Blues were fortunate to only be trailing to Tom Bradshaw’s 15th minute header at the break.
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“Hecky (Paul Heckingbottom) got his tactics right against us,” said McCarthy. “We played 3-5-2, having done really well with that in our two previous games, but if I’d have been up against us today I’d have gone 4-3-3 against it. He did and they had the better of the first half. We were lucky to get away with it. They were doubling up on our wing-backs and having a field day.
“Bart (keeper Bartosz Bialkowski) has kept us in the game, certainly with the save just before half-time when he (George Moncur) was one-on-one. He should score, but we’ve got the wizard in the nets. He’s unbelievable. I say wizard, he’s more like an octopus at times!
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“That’s just the norm from him, We may have got relegated without him last year. He was just outstanding.”
There was a tactical reshuffle at the break as McGoldrick and Waghorn replaced Myles Kenlock and Tristan Nydam.
“I was tempted to change it beforehand, but I wanted to see the half out and thankfully we did,” said the Blues boss. “I was always going to go 4-4-2 at half-time.
“The subs deserve credit. They’ve sat on the bench and watched it thinking they should be playing. Didzy (McGoldrick) was desperate to play. Their response was brilliant. I’ve just said to them that you don’t win games without having a squad and players who can come on and make a difference. That’s nice.”
With Joe Garner again impressing with his fighting spirit up front, McCarthy was left waxing lyrical about his two summer recruits from Scottish giants Rangers (Garner and Waghorn).
He said: “I think we’ve absolutely nicked the two strikers – we’re looking at a million quid for the two of them and they are, what, both 27? They’ve both scored goals in this league. I’m absolutely thrilled with that bit of business.
“We all know what Didzy has got. When Didzy is fit he’s a top Championship player. Poor old Freddie (Sears) runs 13 kilometres a game and doesn’t get the credit, but he does from me. He’s a metronome. He just keeps going and going and going. He’s very selfless and that’s a lovely quality.”
The Blues boss continued: “Fans sometimes bemoan what I want from players. They say ‘he’s a Mick McCarthy player’ as if it’s a bad thing. It can’t all be about sexy touches and flighty, flirty footballers. If you’ve got a Joe Garner in your team you’ll win games. Players like that give you a platform. When people say ‘he’s a Mick McCarthy player’ it means he’s someone who cares about the team and will run around and ut a shift in. I’ll take that all day long.”
Meanwhile, there was more injury woe for Town as teenage midfielder Flynn Downes was forced off with what looked to be a knee injury.
“I don’t know what he’s done yet, he;’ just got a bag of ice on it,” said McCarthy. “We’re going to have to go and get somebody from somewhere because I’ve got five of them injured at the minute – Luke Hyam, Teddy Bishop, Emyr Huws, Tom Adeyemi and Andre Dozzell.
“And Tommy Smith has done his hamstring, so he’s going to be eight weeks out along with Webbo (Adam Webster).”
Asked if he would need to dip into the transfer market for cover, he replied: “I think so. Maybe not so much in midfield, but probably at centre-half. The lads have done well, but they’re going to need a bit of help.”