Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy frustrated by missed chances in 3-1 defeat at Fulham

Mick McCarthy before kick-off at Craven Cottage against Fulham

Mick McCarthy before kick-off at Craven Cottage against Fulham

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy didn’t feel his team got outclassed in this afternoon’s 3-1 defeat at Fulham.

Mick McCarthy gives directions at Craven Cottage against Fulham

Mick McCarthy gives directions at Craven Cottage against Fulham

The slick hosts carved open several chances in the first half and deservedly led through goals from Floyd Ayite (17) and Scott Malone (30).

Slavisa Jokanovic’s men did leave gaps at the back though, David McGoldrick (twice) and Freddie Sears spurned golden chances to score either side of the interval, before Stefan Johansen netted the killer third (61) to render Christophe Berra’s stoppage-time header a mere consolation.

“It’s frustrating because we’ve had good chances,” said McCarthy. “In the second half we had three great chances before they scored. Unfortunately, and this is probably the tale of our season, we didn’t score them and we let them in at the other end.

“They didn’t defend particularly well either and I’m sure Slavisa (Jokanovic) is thinking it was a good decision to change his keeper with the performance he got out of him (Marcus Bettinelli).

“It’s about scoring goals and we didn’t do that having had our chances. The reality is we should have scored after half-time and then it might have been different.”

Town improved after McCarthy abandoned his wing-back system and switched to a 4-4-2 formation after the break, Tom Lawrence replacing Tommy Smith.

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“It did improve us,” said McCarthy. “I’ll have a look at it again. I don’t know whether it’s because they gave the ball away more, got a bit comfortable or was down to us pressing them more. I didn’t think we were bad in the first half, we just gave two soft goals away. Second half we were certainly better though.

“It needed to be changed (tactically) at half-time to try and get something out of the game.”

When one journalist put it to McCarthy that his team had once again been passed off the park by Fulham, he replied: “Actually they didn’t pass through us from the back at all, I disagree with that completely. They were putting it long up to (Chris) Martin, he knocked it down to midfield and they got chances from that.

“I don’t think we dealt with that particularly well. He’s a threat up there, he can win balls and keep it up there. I guess Slav got his tactics right today.”

Smith for the injured Steven Taylor aside, McCarthy stuck with the same team which beat Wigan 3-0 at Portman Road in midweek.

“We were playing a much better team away from home today,” he said. “That’s the dilemma – change that winning team, this happens and it’s ‘why did you change it?’ Don’t change a winning team and you get ‘you should have rested some’. I don’t think any of them looked tired though, not at all. I thought Didzy (David McGoldrick) and Freddie (Sears) were a constant threat yet again.

“You’ve seen me now for nearly five years. If we’ve played well and had a good result then I tend to stick with it because it’s hard to justify changes. They weren’t tied, not at all. They just took their chances and we haven’t.”

With Lawrence providing the free-kick assist for Berra’s goal upon his injury return, McCarthy said: “It’s great to have him back, you can see he’s a threat with his delivery, but even he got booed after he put one out with his first free-kick. The second one is on the button and Berra scores. It was just a little bit too late.”

Asked how leaving the field to more negative chants from Town fans made him feel, he replied: “It makes me want to go home and have a beer.”

And with that the Blues boss left the press conference room.