Embarrassing goal difference is not just the back five’s fault, says Mick McCarthy
IPSWICH Town manager Mick McCarthy says it’s not just the back five that are to blame for an embarrassing minus 20 goal difference.
Tuesday night’s 5-0 thrashing at Crystal Palace took the tally of goals conceded to 31 in 15 league games.
And while the pace of tricky wingers Wilfried Zaha and Yannick Bolasie caused problems, the Eagles did not have to work hard for their goals.
“It’s always the defence’s fault isn’t it?” said McCarthy. “And the keeper of course can’t blame anyone else so he’s knackered.
“Let me tell you, it’s a team effort. If the ball keeps coming back at you then eventually you’ll concede.
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“There were times in that game, and at Birmingham (1-0 win), where we got in good positions and should have ended up with a corner kick, a free-kick or a throw-in in the final third. But we give it away and it ends up back in our half.
“Poor old defenders are getting it in the ear-hole from everybody, but it’s a team game. If we keep the ball it eases the pressure on them.
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“The defenders deserve all the plaudits from Saturday because there were some great blocks.
“You don’t just concede goals because of defenders and the keeper. Everybody has got to be made aware of that.”
He continued: “They don’t mistakes on purpose. They hate it – I know that from having been a player myself.
“They don’t go out their to let me or the fans down. They feel so horrible about it.
“We have made a lot of errors though and that does make you pull your hair out after you’ve organised them.”
Reflecting on his mixed start as Blues boss, McCarthy continued: “Yeah we got beat on Tuesday, but I’m not dwelling on that. If somebody had said to me last week that I’d be sat here with three points after two away games I’d have been delighted.
“We got a tough, hard-fought win at Birmingham and I thought there some positives at Crystal Palace too.
“For the first 25 minutes we were okay and then we make a mistake (Luke Chambers leaves a through ball thinking everyone is offside) – that seems to be a thread running through the whole season.
“What was pleasing was that we didn’t compound that by conceding another goal straight away.
“At half-time I wasn’t unhappy with how we’d played, in fact I was quite pleasantly surprised.
“We started the second half well and then we concede to what is not a penalty. I can understand why he gave it considering the speed he (Wilfired Zaha) runs at, but then what is disappointing is how it all unravelled and became a mess.”
Speaking ahead of today’s visit of Burnley he added: “If you look at the stats, Burnley have scored 29, conceded 29 – and they’ve conceded most of them on their travels. We complain about this being a place that is miles away from everywhere, but they all have to come here. We’ve got to make the most of home territory.
“I’m not going to start this ‘must win game’ thing though. All that does is heap pressure on everyone. It’s about actions, not words.”