Gallery/Managers’ reaction: McCarthy bemoans mistakes which led to Hull’s late winner
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich v Hull: IPSWICH Town manager Mick McCarthy bemoaned his side’s defending for Hull City’s late winner at Portman Road after the Blues had worked so hard to get back into the game.
The Blues deservedly trailed 1-0 at the break courtesy of Robbie Brady’s 28th minute penalty – the first goal Town have conceded in more than 480 minutes of football.
McCarthy’s men were the better side after the interval though and were back on level terms when substitute Anthony Wordsworth headed home before the hour.
Ipswich looked the more likely victors after that, but Wordsworth’s poor clearance at a corner – followed by some poor marking in the box – led to Robert Koren’s headed winner seven minutes from time.
Asked if he felt his side deserved a point, the Blues boss said: “Yeah, but the game lasts for 90 minutes.
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“We had a tough first half in which I changed to team a bit (to a 5-3-2 formation) to try and stop them playing – and I thought it worked until they got the penalty. Then when they scored it gave them a bit of freedom and confidence. They were far better than us in the first half.
“In the second half I think we were the better team. We deserved the equaliser, we had the better chances to win it, but we didn’t clear a corner particularly well and then we didn’t mark particularly well. Mistakes have cost us.
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“Woody has made a poor clearance, but somebody’s got to repair it for him. Go and mark, clear the ball and then go and say ‘Woody, don’t clear it like that’. Don’t compound one mistake with another mistake. That’s what happened.”
Asked if he had any complaints with Hull’s first-half penalty award, given for Guirane N’Daw’s clumsy challenge on David Meyler, McCarthy added: “I’ve not really seen it again. I’ve seen a replay from a long-distance on the ProZone, but everyone seems to think it was a penalty. I’m not going to whinge about it because it looks like a penalty to me.”
Town’s first defeat in six (1-0 at Nottingham Forest on March 5), sees them drop two places in the league to 17th. Their gap above the drop zone has been cut to four points.
Hull, meanwhile, are on verge of promotion. They are now six points clear of third-place Watford, the latter losing 3-2 loss at Peterborough. With a superior goal difference to the Hornets, the Tigers need two wins from their final four to secure a return to the Premier League.
Hull boss Steve Bruce said: “The first half reminded me of how we’ve played to get in this position. Credit to Ipswich with how they responded second half though, they changed formation and we found it a bit of a struggle.
“Robert Koren doesn’t get many with his head, but he scores. Sometimes he has his critics, but that baffles me because he’s scored 10 goals from midfield for the second season running.
“We’ve given ourselves a wonderful opportunity (to go up), but you only have to look at the other results today to see how crazy this division is. Wolves on Tuesday night will be a tough game, as they all will.
“We can’t get carried away.”
Ipswich probably need three more points from their remaining four games to secure safety. They host Crystal Palace on Tuesday night, with the last three matches: Sheffield Wednesday (a), Birmingham (h), Burnley (a).
– For match comment, analysis and McCarthy’s thoughts on what’s required to stay up, see Monday’s EADT and Ipswich Star.