MANAGER’S REACTION: Mick McCarthy admits Barnsley were the better side

Ipswich v Barnsley: BLUES boss Mick McCarthy admits Barnsley more than deserved their late equaliser at Portman Road this afternoon.

Town took the lead through Luke Chambers’ smart 56th minute finish, but Barnsley striker Marlon Harewood had spurned a hatful of chances either side of that goal before teenage substitute Danny Rose stooped to head home an 88th minute leveller.

“We didn’t defend (the late corner) properly,” rued a deflated McCarthy. “But they deserved a point, not that I’m happy about it – I’m very unhappy about it – but they deserved it overall.

“The game was a bit more open in the second half, but we didn’t have the quality to get the second goal unfortunately. It was nowhere near the standard as last week (goalless draw at table-toppers Cardiff), across the board.

“If we could have nicked the three points I’d have been delighted. If you’re going to progress, it’s these games – when you’re the inferior side and you get in front – that you need to see out.

“They could have beaten us and were the better side to be fair to them, so we’ll take the point, put it in our pocket, keep it and make sure we keep picking up more.”

Town – who remain six points clear of the relegation zone – have now drawn 1-1 at home against all three of the division’s bottom three sides, with flat performances having also been produced against Bristol City and Peterborough recently.

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Asked why his side have been able to get superb away victories at the likes of Bolton, Wolves and Charlton, but then fail to replicate such performances on home soil, McCarthy said: “I don’t know. It’s one of those imponderables isn’t it? I wish I knew the answer, but I just don’t.

“Sometimes it happens, but there have been home games – Millwall, Nottingham Forest – where we’ve played really well.

“Maybe it is because the opposition are around us in the table and that makes you a little bit more nervy. Do you know what, you have to credit Barnsley for playing well though, because they did.

“I thought Barnsley took the game to us to be fair, it wasn’t as if they sat back and tried to hit us on the break at all.

“The weight of expectation can play a part. I’m sure Cardiff were thinking they should have turned us over last week.”

– See Monday’s EADT and Ipswich Star for match analysis, comment and more reaction.