Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy ‘bitterly disappointed’ after East Anglian derby defeat

Ipswich Town boss Mick Mccarthy reacts to his side's 1-0 home loss to rivals Norwich City. Photo: St

Ipswich Town boss Mick Mccarthy reacts to his side's 1-0 home loss to rivals Norwich City. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy declared himself pleased with his side’s performance, but bitterly disappointed with the result following today’s 1-0 home defeat to rivals Norwich City at Portman Road.

Jonas Knudsen hit the post and David McGoldrick wasted a glorious headed chance at either end of the first half, with the Blues left to rue those misses when James Maddison bent home what proved to be the winner in the 59th minute.

A comeback never looked likely after that as Town’s wait for a win against the Canaries extended to nine matches over almost nine years (six defeats, three draws).

“If somebody asked me if I’m disappointed with that result then I’m out of here,” was McCarthy’s tetchy opening salvo at the start of his post-match press conference. “I’ve just done interviews and been asked the most senseless questions, so please someone give me ones better than that.”

He was subsequently asked if the most disappointing aspect of the defeat was the lack of cohesion in the attempts to get back into the game after going behind.

“Is that what you thought?” he snapped.

“Yes,” replied the reporter. “We want to know what you think though...”

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The Blues boss continued: “I think that they are a good side and when they can sit in and leave Cameron Jerome up front then they are very hard to break down. That’s what we’ve seen throughout all their performances (Norwich are now unbeaten in nine across all competitions and have conceded just three goals in that time).

“I didn’t look at my team and think there was a lack of cohesion, but I’ll take your opinion. We still had a chance at the end with Waggy (Martyn Waghorn) putting one over the bar…

“They are a good side with good players. For the majority of that game, certainly in the first half, we were the better side. We’ve just not took our chances and they have.”

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Asked if McGoldrick’s miss just before half-time was the crucial moment, he replied: “It’s a great chance. Maybe if it’s Joe (Garner) that is heading it then it ends up in the net. It’s the hardest part of the game scoring though and that’s why strikers are paid fortunes.

“I’m pleased with the performance, I’ve got no qualms about that, I’m just bitterly disappointed with the result. When you concede a goal playing against a team who can become compact and sit in then it becomes hard to play through them. They defended well.

“At the start of the season we were scoring goals, but today we haven’t. They’ve had one moment of quality and scored, we haven’t.”

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Town supporters will be hurting as the sound of Canaries chirping gets ever louder.

“I’m not pleased about it either,” said McCarthy. “I wanted to give our fans something to shout about and be happy about. I certainly did my best and the players did their best today, it just didn’t happen for us.

“It hurts me to lose any game, but it’s never, ever going to hurt me as much as it hurts the fans who have supported the club for 30 years. No, it’s not.

“But as a professional who is someone that is very proud of what I do and how I do it, yes I’m extremely disappointed and I’m always hurt.”

Ipswich won their opening four league games but have now lost six of the last eight, with the two other results being wins against rock-bottom duo Bolton and Sunderland.

“We’ve had six wins and six defeats,” said McCarthy. “And I have to tell you, at the end of it, I’d take 23 wins and 23 defeats. That would be close to 70 points and borderline play-offs.”

Asked if he’s concerned by recent form, he replied: “Yes, of course I am. I’m concerned we’re not winning games anymore.”

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Asked if he was worried that the toxic atmosphere seen at Portman Road during the second-half of a dire 2016/17 campaign could return, he relied: “I was always fully aware that could return or materialise again at some stage if we didn’t win games, whether that was the first game or later. If the run of form doesn’t improve that will be evident again.

“That doesn’t concern me though. The concern is we’re not winning games, not what people might think of me, what they might say or might shout. That’s of no concern to me at all.”

Town have not been outplayed in any of their recent fine margins defeats. Asked if he takes solace from that, McCarthy said: “It doesn’t matter if I think we’re playing alright. You’ve got to win, so a scruffy old win not playing well would suit me fine right now.

“If you play well and keep playing well then you are more likely to win than not though. I’d like to play in the next three games and I’ll take what we can out of them.”

Town now face quickfire away trips to Burton and Cardiff this Saturday and next Tuesday respectively, with Preston then visiting Portman Road before the next international break.

“They are extremely tough games,” said McCarthy. “Burton is going to be a tough game, we saw that last year when we were there and they are scraping away. Then of course we go to Cardiff, who are up there, then it’s Preston here. They are big games for us.”