Mick McCarthy has no tactical regrets following 4-4 draw at Derby

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy (second right) gestures to his players during Tuesday night's 4-

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy (second right) gestures to his players during Tuesday night's 4-4 draw at Derby - Credit: PA

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he has no regrets following Tuesday night’s incredible 4-4 draw at Derby County.

The Blues led 4-1 at the break, but the Rams were transformed by a tactical tweak – new head coach Steve McClaren switching to a diamond midfield and introducing Mason Bennett and John Eustace off the bench.

Asked if he’d have done anything differently, McCarthy – who has played a 4-4-2 formation throughout his managerial career – said: “I can’t affect the result; I can’t! What would anybody want me to do?

“I’ve wracked my brains over the last two days and thought ‘what could I have done?’

“When you’re 4-1 up at half-time, what do you do, tell two players ‘you’ve played so well I’m going to take you off’?


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“Or do you go 4-5-1 and try to hang on to what you’ve got, go 4-3-3 and try to be hard to beat? If I had done that and we’d still conceded three goals then I’d never have been able to live with myself.

“That would have been a negative approach and it didn’t warrant that.

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“They scored a goal completely out of the blue within 90 seconds of the restart and it completely changed the dynamic of the game.

“The momentum went with them and suddenly they looked like us, it was like the two teams had swapped shirts.

“It was the fear of losing it that did for us.

“You start to tighten up and make mistakes.

“There is no point me thinking ‘oh no we should have had three points’ and banging my head and beating myself up and beating the players up about it. Why do that? The players have been brilliant. They’ve been fantastic.

“If we’d have come back from 4-1 we’d all be feeling fabulous.

“I’ve always said there is no such thing as a bad away point and I still say the same; take the point. I can let everybody else be negative about it. I don’t subscribe to that.

“We’ve had a look back at it, we can see the reasons why it happened, but you have to give Derby a bit of credit – they aren’t a bad team and were only two points behind us before the game.”

Town have kept just two clean sheets from their opening 10 Championship games, but are the division’s third highest scorers with 17 goals.

“I am delighted with the way we are playing. I’m really immensely proud of the lads,” said McCarthy, whose side face winless Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough tomorrow.

“There’s only one team that’s actually turned us over and that’s Derby in the second half. No other team has done that to us, nobody.”

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