Gallery & Reaction: McCarthy ‘delighted’ to take a point following ‘horrible’ goalless home draw with Wigan

Ipswich Town v Wigan Athletic.
Sky Bet Championship.
Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy at the en

Ipswich Town v Wigan Athletic. Sky Bet Championship. Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy at the end of the 0-0 match. - Credit: Archant

Ipswich v Wigan: Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy admitted his team didn’t play well in a ‘horrible’ goalless draw with struggling Wigan at Portman Road this afternoon, but added that he was delighted to put another point on the board.

The fourth-place Blues have fallen further behind the Championship’s top three of Bournemouth, Derby and Middlesbrough – who all won this weekend – but still have a six-point cushion to seventh as both Wolves and Norwich drew.

Town have now won just one of their last six games in all competitions, producing some flat displays along the way, but McCarthy is not concerned that his team’s promotion push is beginning to stutter with 18 games to go.

“Do you know what? I’m delighted with a point,” said the Blues boss. “It was a horrible game, neither side played particularly well, but it’s a good point. I’ve just been stressing to the lads; what is it 75 (points) needed to get in the play-offs? Well we need another 24 for that now. And whatever it takes to win it; we’re one more closer to that total too.

“I think Brentford (who lost at home to Middlesbrough) would have been delighted with a point today; and others would. I’m pleased with a point because we didn’t play well enough to win it.

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“Unless you’re Arsenal or Man United or Man City, one of the top teams, grinding out points is the key in any division.”

He continued: “We’ve not played well, but I put their team up on the board beforehand and thought Fortune, McClean, Waghorn, Kvist... I went through their team and said to the lads ‘can anybody tell me that’s a bottom-six team?’ Not in a million years.

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“That team ought to be challenging where we are. They’ve got a new manager in Malky (Mackay) and have got potential with that side there. They made it hard for us.”

He continued: “I’m not one for making excuses. We haven’t played well for whatever reason. I don’t think the conditions helped; the pitch didn’t hold up particularly well. It’s freezing too.

“I’m not so sure anyone who took part in it were particularly good today. If I was Malky I’d be thinking it was a magnificent performance though and I’d be so proud of my team and the way they stopped a team in the top three or four.”

McCarthy, who won the Championship title with Wolves following a mid-season wobble containing just one win in 11, added: “I usually say that happens to all of us at some point. Maybe it won’t for the best teams in the league – Middlesbrough have had a great result, Bournemouth and Derby too. They are arguably the best three teams in the league.

“We are not that good that we’re going to win every game. I think we were playing against a good Championship team today and it wasn’t our day. I’ll take the point.”

Asked how much his side missed injured striker Daryl Murphy, McCarthy said: “When you’ve got an 18-goal scorer then you would always prefer to have them playing. That’s not being derogatory to the lads. I think anybody would miss Murph’s prowess as a player; his goalscoring ability, his power and his aerial ability.

“He’ll be alright for Saturday (at Rotherham) we hope.”

Wigan boss Malky Mackay said: “It doesn’t matter to me what the neutral thinks of that to be quite honest with you. It’s what I think of my team’s performance which I thought was terrific.

“We were resilient against a team at the top end of the league who grind teams down. I’ve watched four games here this season and I know that Ipswich grind you down and then eventually score. That’s why they’re at the top of the league. It’s a firm formula, they tick a lot of boxes and we had to make sure we matched them today – and I think we did that to a man.

“I don’t think anybody looks at that today and tells me who’s top and who’s bottom. There was very little between us. We gave a very good account of ourselves and it gives us something to kick on from.”

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