MANAGERS’ REACTION: Mick McCarthy remains upbeat as Poyet revels in clinical finishing
IPSWICH Town manager Mick McCarthy has urged supporters to look at the bigger picture after his side started 2013 with a 3-0 home defeat to Brighton.
Having put in a monumental effort to secure victories at Charlton and Wolves over the festive period, the leggy-looking Blues were picked off on the counter-attack from the direct and clinical Seagulls.
Goals from Dean Hammond, Craig Mackail-Smith and Wayne Bridge secured Brighton their first win in six to elevate them to within a point of the top-six, while Town have slipped back to within five points of the Championship relegation zone.
McCarthy, however, is reflecting on what has overall been a very positive festive period.
“We’ve not played particularly well today, but we were playing a good team and we should give them credit,” said the Blues boss.
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“I always see the big picture. I was brought in to keep the club in the league and get points and that’s what we’ve done. We’ve take seven points over the Christmas period.
“I really admire the players and the way they’ve gone about their business, I think they’ve been amazing. To have got us 30 points by January 1st is terrific.
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“We’ve lost a game, but it doesn’t suddenly make us bad guys and bad players. I think they’ve been remarkable, it’s been a great turnaround and we’ve got ourselves in a good position.”
Asked if the fact that Brighton had played one fewer game in recent weeks had made a difference, McCarthy – who made just one enforced change to a starting line-up that had started the previous five matches in succession – said: “I think it probably did, but if you look at the bench there’s not that many players I can freshen it up with really.
“We were playing really well with an unchanged side so if I’d have changed and we’d have got beat people will say why are you changing it? If you keep it the same and get beat people wonder why you didn’t freshen it up. The problem is getting beat.”
He added: “We conceded from a corner which is really disappointing. I think they got a bit of a block on Guirane N’Daw and their player (Hammond) gets a free header. Good luck to them though, they’ve worked on something from a corner.
“I think when they scored it just took a little bit out of our legs. We just didn’t have the pass or the final cross.
“It just wasn’t our day. We tried to clear one at the end of the game and he made a right hash of it our player and it went for a throw to them. I just laughed because it summed up our day.”
Brighton boss Gus Poyet said: “It was a much-needed win. A few weeks ago we had 27 shots, 17 on target and we scored one. Today we hit the target three times and we scored three. That’s the difference in this division.
“We had watched Ipswich and saw that they were winning games without being exceptionally good because they were scoring at the right times.
“It had been the opposite for us, but today something happened – I don’t know if it was God, or luck, or the New Year – but everything went our way.
“Without being very good, we were very clinical. It was a good day.”