Gallery & Reaction: Mick McCarthy fumes over refereeing decisions after 1-0 home defeat to promotion rivals Derby
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Ipswich v Derby: Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy was left seething over two controversial decisions by referee Kevin Wright following his side’s 1-0 home defeat to Championship promotion rivals Derby County at Portman Road this lunchtime.
Wright chose not to show Rams midfielder John Eustace a second yellow card for a hefty off-the-ball barge on David McGoldrick just before the break and then waved away strong Town penalty appeals away soon after the restart when Jay Tabb’s cross struck Richard Keogh somewhere near the arm and midriff inside the box.
Four minutes later Chris Martin scored the only goal of an edgy game, pouncing after Tommy Smith failed to deal with a wind-assisted punt over the top by Cyrus Christie.
“The reality is it should have probably ended up nil-nil, but we’ve made a mistake and it’s cost us,” said McCarthy. “That was the difference between the two teams.
“(The mistake) was by somebody who has been magnificent. Tommy (Smith) comes in and apologies. I said ‘no apology needed – get on with it, we all make mistakes’. Maybe the conditions had a bit to do with it. It was blowing and he couldn’t get a head on it. Once we let it bounce there’s trouble then.
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“I thought the game was going nowhere. It was no spectacle by any stretch of the imagination. It’s a mistake and somebody’s capitalised on it.”
On the penalty shouts that were waved away, McCarthy fumed: “I hear Steve (McClaren) has just come in here and said it was never a penalty. I’m going to lend him these I think (reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out his glasses).
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“I don’t understand that, me. Once the game has gone, come out here and say it how it is. It’s a penalty. Well I think it’s a penalty. It hits his hand. The referee hasn’t given it though.”
And on the referee not showing Eustace a second yellow card just before the break, he continued: “I asked him at half-time and the referee said he thought it was an accidental collision. In that case I’ve committed a few accidental collisions in my career.
“It’s violent conduct from the side. He just comes in and barges him. That might have changed the game; it might have ended up nil-nil, loads of stuff might have happened. What irked me even more is that Didz (McGoldrick) rolls over and tangled his legs with him, whether that was on purpose or not I don’t know, and he gets booked and we miss an opportunity to break on them. I found that very strange. Had he (Eustace) been booked already? There you go then.”
Rams boss Steve McClaren said: “I’ve seen it on the replay. No way is it a penalty. He pulled his arm away to try and avoid it. There was no deflection or anything so that would have been harsh.
“I thought the referee, by the way, was excellent – even though he sent off John Eustace (the midfielder eventually receiving a second yellow card in the final minute). I thought his handling of a difficult game was very good. I think he got every decision more or less right. Mick will probably disagree. From our point of view, he was excellent.”
Asked if a draw would have been a fair result, McCarthy said: “Probably. There wasn’t a lot in it. They did produce a mature away performance, maybe shaded bits of it and had some better opportunities than we did. They didn’t score from any of them though – and neither did we. It’s a mistake ultimately which has changed the course of the game.”
Did the magnitude of the game – second versus third before kick-off – contribute to both sides looking edgy?
“Maybe,” said the Blues boss. “It’s a bit of an occasion, we’re doing alright, we’ve been talking about this one all week, built the game up and maybe neither team really performed as well as they could. They didn’t perform that well either, but they’re the away side and they don’t have to force the issue. They nicked a goal from a mistake and, if it was me, I’d be saying it was a good away performance.”
McClaren added: “This is a tough place to come – we knew that from last year (2-1 loss). It was what I call a mature performance. Sometimes we’ve been a little naive, but today, when we had to, we stood up. We were men, we stood up to the physical challenge and the directness, defended really well as a team and played when we had to.
“After the first 10/15 minutes we grew into the game. I think Will Hughes was a big part of that. Out of all the frenetic and frantic play, he was the one who put his foot on the ball and created that calmness. For me it was a performance we’ve been looking for from the team. We got it today.”
He continued: “It takes time and experience and taking a knock or two to get to these sort of performances. It wasn’t always pretty, but we stayed in the game.
“They battered us for the last 20 minutes here last year, but we learnt from that and have learnt from some of the physical challenges we’ve faced. We now know when to play and when to dig in.
“We said the first 15 minutes would be tough because they tend to blow teams away in that period. We grew into the game, said at half-time they would come again, they did, but we stayed in the game, got the goal, then there was a kind of calmness around. We kept the ball, we kept possession. It was a mature performance – not by kids, but by men today.
“This is something we have to build on. The belief and confidence we take from this should see us right for the rest of the season.”