Ipswich Town 0 Fulham 2 reaction: Mick McCarthy admits Blues were bashed by Cottagers

An animated Town manager Mick McCarthy on the touchline during the first half of the Ipswich Town v

An animated Town manager Mick McCarthy on the touchline during the first half of the Ipswich Town v Fulham (Sky Bet Championship) match. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy admitted his side were completely outclassed by Fulham in this afternoon’s 2-0 Championship defeat at Portman Road.

The Blues had the chance to create history and become the first team in the club’s 81-year professional history to win their opening five league games, but their 100% league start was brought to an abrupt end as Slavisa Jokanovic’s visitors passed them off the park.

Neeskens Kebano and Rui Fonte scored either side of half-time, with the dominant Cottagers enjoying 70% of possession, twice hitting the post and forcing a string of good saves out of keeper Bartosz Bialkowski.

Asked for his assessment, McCarthy paused, took a long sip of his coffee and replied: “Call the police... Because there’s just been a murder on the pitch.”

He continued: “I think that sometimes you just have to take your hat off to the opposition. We’ve had a brilliant month, 12 points, but today we’ve just come up against a team streets ahead. They absolutely bashed us with the ball and without the ball.

“Fulham are tops. They’ve spent a few quid and they’ve got some good players. I missed Slavisa (Joaknovic) afterwards, which is a shame because I like him. They’ve done both sides of the game today – it’s one thing all the nice football, but they also did the pressing and the tackling and the work rate. I’ve no doubt they will be promotion contenders again. Today shows how far removed we are from them.

“I’ve ended up with round pegs in square holes though. I’ve got all four of our strikers on the pitch. Wardy (Grant Ward) is not a central midfield player and Waggy (Martyn Waghorn) is not a wide right player particularly, Freddie (Sears) does his wide left job. That team had to play though. I didn’t think it was right to change it and go negative.

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“My disappointment was we didn’t do well with the ball. We didn’t make the most of the scant opportunities we did have. When we did win it, we gave it back too easily. That would be my criticism.

“I’ve only got 10 fit senior first team players. You’ve seen my bench. If I’d have had Emyr (Huws) or Tom (Adeyemi) available I might have been able to combat their midfield a bit better.”

Town now have a fortnight off due to the international break before returning to action with a game at QPR.

“It’s a bad day today, but it’s been a good month,” said McCarthy. “We’d have taken 12 points. That doesn’t stop it being a disappointing day today though.”

With Town’s Under-23s at home on Tuesday night, then travelling to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, McCarthy added: “Tom Adeyemi will be playing on Tuesday, Luke Hyam will play again (after two recent U23 appearances) and some of the others will get games too – Danny Rowe and Bersant Celina.

“We’ve got no sign of the centre-backs coming back soon though, so I’m still hoping to get one.”