Ipswich Town 2 Brentford 0 reaction – Mick McCarthy admits Blues rode luck in fifth straight win
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy admits his team rode their luck before beating Brentford 2-0 at Portman Road today to continue their perfect start to the season.
Summer signings Martyn Waghorn (35) and Joe Garner (51) continued their red-hot form in front of goal – the pair recruited for a combined £1m from Rangers having netted seven goals between them already – as the ultra clinical Blues made it nine goals scored from 12 shots on target over their four Championship games.
Five straight wins in all competitions at the start of the season equals the feat achieved by George Burley’s men in the promotion campaign of 1999/00. It’s the first time Town have won their opening four league matches since 1974/75.
Just like against Birmingham, Barnsey and Millwall though, the injury-hit Blues rode their luck for long spells as the Bees dominated the first half.
“Let’s be honest about it,” said McCarthy. “They are a very good side and how they are bottom of the league with a point is beyond me. First half we got away with a few things. They started really well, I’d accepted they were going to have a lot of the ball, I set up to sit back a bit knowing full well we’d catch them on the break with the strike force we’ve got.
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“It took a rearguard action for a long time from four full-backs who did that very stoically. We got away with it, but second half was much better. They didn’t really penetrate us as much. It was an all-round good, solid, disciplined, hard-working display. What we didn’t have last year was the ability to put the ball in the net.”
He quipped: “They had one million, seven hundred thousand and ninety-six passes and we’ve had two hundred and 12 – or something like that! I had to set up that way because if we’d have gone chasing them they’d have played around us and we’d have got beat. We had to keep it solid and we have got a good counter-attacking team. That front five is a real threat.”
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On Waghorn and Garner, he joked: “Sounds like a solicitors doesn’t it? They’ve been two good signings. They’re are doing everything I asked and expected of them and probably more.”
With Luke Chambers, Tommy Smith and Adam Webster all injured, McCarthy was forced to name a back four of Dominic Iorfa, Jordan Spence, Jonas Knudsen and Myles Kenlock – all of whom are primarily full-backs.
“I wasn’t worried about our defence today,” said the Blues boss. “I would have hated to have gone to Millwall with that back four, but it was always going to be a different game today and four full-backs was more suited to play against a team that is lively and mobile.
“It didn’t do us any harm. I thought they were good. If you look back, I think you’ll find I’ve always said Jonas could make a left-sided centre-back. He loves defending.”
McCarthy faced numerous negative chants about his style of football last season, but fans in the Sir Bobby Robson stand sung his name with gusto again today.
“I prefer that, but I treat it with the same contempt as the boos because that can come back pretty quick,” he said. “It shows how fickle football is.
“I’m more concerned that the club is on the up. I will leave here at some point and it’s the club that really counts. I hated it last year when ‘everything was wrong’ with the club. I didn’t like that. It ends up being a horrible atmosphere. Nothing else in the football club matters if you’re not winning games and playing badly.
“Genuinely, this is not about me. I’m delighted for the lads that they are playing in front of a good atmosphere again. That’s lovely.”
Neil Warnock’s Cardiff, the only other Championship side with maximum points on the board, keep Town off the top on goal difference.
“Two old farts who know f**k all about the game hey?” said McCarthy, with a wry smile. “I’ll have to get my iPad out now...”