MANAGER’S REACTION: McCarthy hails ‘star man’ Dean Gerken following goalless draw at Nottingham Forest

Forest v Ipswich: Blues boss Mick McCarthy hailed a man-of-the-match performance from goalkeeper Dean Gerken following his side’s gritty goalless draw at Nottingham Forest.

The Town keeper made two fantastic stops from striker Simon Cox – tipping a header onto the bar and blocking a close-range effort – as McCarthy’s men made it six games unbeaten on the road with another typically organised and spirited display.

“Gerks has been great,” said the Blues boss. “He came on trial with us in pre-season, I liked him, he got in after the four defeats in five games with a few others and has held his place. I think he’s been outstanding.

“It was a point-winning performance from a goalkeeper. Our goalkeeper was our star man.”

Forest were undoubtedly the better team over the course of the 90 minutes, but Ipswich had their chances and forced home keeper Karl Darlow into some good saves too.

“It’s a terrific away point,” said McCarthy. “Hard work and grit is the necessity, you need that every week, then if you can add a bit of gloss on it with something else, fab.

“We got away with a couple in the first half and I’m not referring to the penalty (appeal) because it’s not a penalty. I’m sure Billy (Davies) and the Nottingham Forest chaps are moaning like drains but he (Cox) is on his way down, he (Gerken) didn’t catch him and think he may even have been offside. All-in-all I think it was the right decision.”

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Asked if Cox, already on a booking at the time, should have been sent-off, McCarthy said: “I don’t think every foul or every time somebody goes over should automatically be a booking. It’s up to the ref, I guess he could (have given him a second yellow card). Maybe he got away with one as much as we got away with one.

“It’s probably momentum. He’s stretching for it, he knocks it wide of Gerks, Gerks pulls out of it and he goes down. I don’t think just because he goes over it’s a dive though.

“Do you know what, it looks to me like his momentum took him over, the referee decides it’s not a penalty, I’ll go with it. I have to say it’s a fabulous decision, of course I would, but that’s not me sitting here with rose-coloured specs, he’s got the decision correct.

“I think he should be lauded for that because there was a lot that would have given it. When I first saw it I thought ‘stonewaller’, but the lads on the bench said ‘no, he was on his way down’. They’ve got better eyes than me, mine are 54 and theirs are 24.”

He added: “Listen, we’re just ticking along. We’re doing alright. This is a really good point at Nottingham Forest because they’ve got a squad that’s been heavily invested in.

“You can see what a good team they were in the first half when we had to hang on a bit.”

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

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