MANAGER’S REACTION: McCarthy says 1-0 win over Bolton sums up his ‘belligerent and stubborn’ side
Ipswich v Bolton: Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says this afternoon’s 1-0 home win over struggling Bolton summed up his ‘belligerent, stubborn and hard-working’ side.
A forgettable game was decided by David McGoldrick’s 55th minute penalty, the win keeping the Blues seventh and four points adrift of the play-off places – top-six rivals Reading, Blackburn, Leeds and Wigan also victorious.
“I like these games when I’m sat in here and we’ve won, I’m not so sure I like them when I’m stood out there and jumping up and down like a jack-in-the-box!” joked the Blues boss.
“I think that epitomises us really. We’re not great, we’re not a silky football team, we’re a belligerent, stubborn, hard-working bunch with a really good team spirit.
“David McGoldrick epitomises what we’re about when he runs back 50 yards to tackle Chris Eagles when his job is supposedly to stick the ball in the back of the net.
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“They work for each other and work for TC (assistant boss Terry Connor), me and the club. They’re great.
“We’re not a silky, wonderful football team by any stretch of the imagination though.”
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Asked what he’d said to his players following a flat first half which was not helped by a lengthy delay for treatment to the concussed Cole Skuse, McCarthy said: “I didn’t think from 1 to 11 – or whatever numbers they wear – we had done enough in the game.
“Gerks (Dean Gerken) made a good save but some of his kicks weren’t the best, our centre-halves didn’t win a header for 20 minutes, the front three didn’t really do anything.
“I thought the midfield three were alright. I thought Skusey had done okay and Hunty and Tabby were different class considering they are both supposedly wide lefties.
“I said we need to step it up lads and I thought the goal did come from us being a little bit more in their face and hard-working.
“We got the ball in the box, challenged for it and got a penalty from it.”
McGoldrick had failed to score his previous two penalty attempts (against Charlton and Preston), but he confidently despatched this one.
“It was never in any doubt that he’d take it,” said McCarthy. “Murph (Daryl Murphy) has been teasing him saying ‘you’re off them lad’, but he’s only missed one – I know two had been saved, but he put the rebound in for one of them.
“That’s 15 goals for the season now. It’s a really good haul for him. He’s been our talisman in games with his bit of quality and goals. He’s been excellent.”
With top six rivals Reading, Blackburn, Wigan and Leeds also winning, McCarthy said: “We were watching the Burnley game before and people were talking about ‘what’s the result here and there?’ and I said ‘there’s only one result which counts and that’s ours’. Everybody else can do what they want. If we don’t win it doesn’t matter.
“Of course it has a bit more significance because if we’d had lost we’d have been down the pecking order a bit more.
“Is it right that Reading won 3-0 today? Well their last four games have been 7-1, 5-1 and 3-0, with a nil-two loss to us in between.
“Then we go to Leeds and, I’m not bothered about their circumstances, that’s always a hard place to play. We get a good draw there and then grind one out today. It’s a really good three points.”
McCarthy confirmed that Cole Skuse is fine after suffering concussion in the first half and explained why Anthony Wordsworth –the man who replaced Skuse on the half hour mark – was then taken off himself in the 78th minute (Frazer Richardson making his debut).
“They kept changing things around,” said the Blues boss. “I let Woody do (Darren) Pratley because that was Skusey’s job, then they changed it around and put Mark Davies in there. Well I wasn’t going to let Woody mark Mark Davies because he would have just run away from him, so I put Tabby on him.
“Then they put (Liam) Trotter on, well I didn’t want Tabby marking Trotter – even though he went and beat him to the first header, to be fair!”
– See Monday’s EADT and Ipswich Star for match analysis and reaction.