GALLERY & MANAGER’S REACTION: Mick McCarthy defends his team selection after top-six hopes ended by 1-0 defeat at Burnley

Mick McCarthy gets a good reception from the Town fans at Burnley after Ipswich's play-off hopes for

Mick McCarthy gets a good reception from the Town fans at Burnley after Ipswich's play-off hopes for this season were ended by defeat - Credit: Archant

Burnley v Ipswich: Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has defended his team selection after his side’s lacklustre 1-0 defeat at already-promoted Burnley ended any lingering chances of a top-six finish.

The Blues arrived at Turf Moor knowing they had to win to keep their play-off hopes alive, but a 54th minute Michael Kightly goal proved to be the difference as McCarthy picked a midfield consisting of Frazer Richardson, Paul Green, Cole Skuse and Stephen Hunt.

Paul Taylor and Frank Nouble stepped off the bench in the 66th minute, but Town didn’t display any real urgency until the closing moments of the match.

Asked what he made of his side’s display, the Blues boss said: “I thought it was very good, up until conceding the goal. We got a bit loose then, but overall I thought we played very well.

“I thought they started well, we didn’t, but we grew into the game and got better. After we settled won it was fairly even, we started the second half well and I thought we were on top when they conceded.

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“We miss one tackle and it ends up in the back of the net because they’ve got Jonny-on-the-spot. Goals change the course of games, but I thought we played really well.”

Asked if it had been a balancing act between setting his side up to get on the front foot in a must-win game and not being too open against the division’s second-placed side, McCarthy said: “I’ve just been speaking to the TV guys and they ask bonkers questions. It’s as if I should have started with four or five centre-forwards, two left-wingers and two right-wingers because we must win it. How do you win a game? You win a game with a team effort and I thought we had a really good team effort.

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“They got a bit of good fortune I thought, just in terms of us missing the tackle, but our performance was really good.

“Must-win game? It’s interesting that. What do you do, throw all your principles out the window? If I could do that I would have done it at Reading on the first game of the season and we’d have walked the league and been up. It doesn’t work that way.

“You win games by doing the things that you have done all season long.”

– See Monday’s EADT and Ipswich Star for comment and more reaction.

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