‘Embarrassing and disgraceful’ – Mick McCarthy slams his players after Ipswich Town’s 6-1 thrashing at Charlton
Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy labelled his side’s 6-1 friendly thrashing at Charlton Athletic as ‘embarrassing’, ‘a shambles’ and ‘a disgrace’, admitting he could be in trouble if the Blues don’t respond in next Saturday’s Championship opener against Birmingham City at Portman Road.
The Blues boss was without Emyr Huws (Achilles), David McGoldrick, Bersant Celina, Tom Adeyemi (all ill), Teddy Bishop (groin) and Luke Hyam (ankle) at The Valley, while the likes of Luke Chambers, Cole Skuse (both illness) and Adam Webster (ankle) have all had curtailed pre-seasons.
Nevertheless, a senior side was thoroughly outplayed by their League One hosts and the scoreline could have been even worse had the Addicks taken two more golden chances.
“It was embarrassing,” said McCarthy. “It was a shambles, completely. It was a really disgraceful performance from us. That doesn’t reflect how I am in terms of how we played. There was a lack of aggression, lack of spirit, lack of cohesion. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. They’ve scored some wonder goals.
“I’m going to have 20 quid on them getting beat next week and 20 quid on us winning because we will play better, that’s for sure.”
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Asked where that static display had come from, following some largely positive pre-season performances, he replied: “I’ve no idea. We started alright, gave a free-kick away that they scored from too easy, then we gave a real simple goal away and then they just passed it around us.
“I could have changed the shape of the team then, but I wanted to see how it did until half-time. I left it purposely until then (before changing from 4-4-2 to 4-3-3).”
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It was put to McCarthy that supporters will be hugely concerned by this result with the new season just a week away.
“Yeah, well, if we play like that again then they’ve got reason to worry. But we won’t play like that again,” he said.
“There are a few players out, but we shouldn’t play like that just because there’s a few missing. I’m not going to make any excuses. We should still perform better than that and show desire to play.
“I’ve just said to them, if that was in November the call would be ‘he’s lost the dressing room and they don’t want to play for him’ because that’s what it looked like. I don’t think that’s the case, but that’s what would be said and I couldn’t argue with it.”
He continued: “We’ve had an unnatural disaster today. Do you know what? Maybe a kick up the arse isn’t the worst thing to get. I’d like to think they’ll be running around like blue-arse flies next week and making tackles and competing far better. We will.”
Some of the Town away following, which officially numbered 350, left early. Others stayed behind to boo at the end.
“Rightfully so,” said McCarthy. “I’d have been booing as well if I’d have watched that. I fully understand it. We’ve got to play well on Saturday and we’ve pretty much got to win because if we don’t then it’s starting the season where we left off last season and that’s not good for anybody.
“We had a poor end to the season, Burton and Newcastle wins apart, and this doesn’t bode well for anybody. It hasn’t helped the way people feel about me, or the team or the club getting slapped here by six.
“I just hope they come along and cheer and support us next weekend. Hopefully we can beat Birmingham. If we don’t then it will be the inevitable.”
Asked if he will be bringing his players in for extra training tomorrow, the Blues boss replied: “I just said to them that is something some managers would do, but I think they then end up resenting me for doing that. They don’t do it on purpose. They are a great bunch of lads. I expect a reaction without me having to threaten people and dragging them in tomorrow just because I feel angry. That’s not the right thing to do.”
Will Birmingham boss Harry Redknapp be using this scoreline to motivate his players ahead of the trip to Portman Road?
“He’ll be saying ‘I know Mick and I expect his team to react from that’,” said McCarthy. “So do I. And if we don’t, and we play like that again, we as a club are in trouble and I’m in trouble.”
Giving an injury and illness update, he added: “David McGoldrick is poorly. Whatever virus has been brought into the camp it has had a fairly devastating affect. We need to get players back.
“Skusey (Cole Skuse) has had it all week too and that didn’t help him today. We’ll have to see how they are all are.
“Chambo (Luke Chambers) has missed a lot of football, Webbo (Adam Webster), I put him on for half a game because he needs some minutes.”
Finally, when asked if there was an update on his search for another striker, he replied: “No, not at the moment. I hope Joe (Garner) has not got any problems coming off either. We’ll see how he is.”
Quizzed on Town’s reported interest in Wigan striker Omar Bogle, he said: “There’s nothing in that at all.”