GALLERY & REACTION: Relieved Mick McCarthy admits 1-0 home win over Bolton was ‘a robbery’

Mick McCarthy watches on at Portman Road

Mick McCarthy watches on at Portman Road - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Ipswich v Bolton: Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy was more than happy to see his side get back on track with an ugly 1-0 home over Bolton Wanderers tonight.

The Blues rode their luck several times amidst an anxious and edgy atmosphere inside Portman Road, Jay Tabb’s scruffy 79th minute goal proving enough thanks to the visiting side’s profligacy.

Asked if he felt his side deserved the win, McCarthy – whose side remain seventh – said: “As managers and coaches we always think that, but I’m not so sure tonight. I’ve just joked in another interview ‘it was never in doubt’! We’ve played better and lost.

“We played better on Saturday, far better, and yet we lost that one 4-1 (at Middlesbrough).

“We didn’t concede tonight. How, I don’t know, because they had lots of chances and the game was wide open. If you are profligate in front of goal though...

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“We were too, until that goal – which was a pure strike from Tabby! They all count. Who gives a flying how the goal goes in and how we win?”

Having ignored growing calls from his to make team changes, the Blues boss started with the same 10 outfield players, he continued: “You know I don’t see games through rose-coloured specs and I had to analyse the true picture after the weekend. It’s easy to have knee-jerk reactions, ‘everything is wrong’, but I kept the same team because I thought they were great on Saturday.

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“It’s one of them. If you don’t make changes and you get beat, you’re a chump. If you do make changes and you get beat, you’re a chump. I didn’t make any changes tonight and we won.”

He continued: “Come on, give Bolton some credit. I didn’t see any mugs on their team by any stretch of the imagination. They’ve got good players. They came and surprised me slightly by playing 3-5-2, 3-4-3, whatever number you want to put on it.

“Rochinha was a handful and we had to stop him in the second half (by switching to 4-3-3) which worked. Thankfully we pinched it. The burglars came. There’s been a robbery!”

Asked about the palpable sense of anxiety inside Portman Road, he replied: “That was for all of us. Were you nervous tonight watching the game? I’m nervous watching the game, anxious, apprehensive... Whatever word you want to put on it, there are eight games left and we have a chance of being promoted still.

“We’re not going to play silky free-flowing football without any nerves. That’s the way it is. I’ll settle for being nervous and getting scruffy wins.

“I don’t think as a team we functioned brilliantly by any stretch of the imagination tonight. I keep saying it, we played better Saturday and lost 4-1. That’s outrageous really. It’s just a good feeling winning a game.”

Quizzed on his decision to take off Jonathan Parr at the break, he explained: “Jonny was terrific. That was purely tactical because I couldn’t let Rochinha keep running free. Skusey was designated to drop on him and pick him up. He was clever at doing what he did the kid. I said to TC (Terry Connor) before the game ‘he could be their Jonny Williams – I hope he’s not’. Of course he was, except I think Jonny would have scored.

“He played well, he was a real handful and we had to stop him.”

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