MANAGER’S REACTION: Mick McCarthy slams the Ipswich Town fans who criticised Luke Hyam during 1-1 draw with Watford
Ipswich v Watford: Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy issued a passionate defence of midfielder Luke Hyam after the homegrown youngster was criticised during this afternoon’s 1-1 draw with Watford at Portman Road.
The Blues boss turned and gesticulated towards the home crowd when they jeered after Hyam over-hit a pass into touch during the second half, the 22-year-old former Northgate High School going on to miss a golden chance to win the game in the 87th minute when he headed against the bar from just outside the six-yard box.
Asked what he had said to the crowd at that moment, McCarthy said: “I said ‘shut up’, that’s what I said. He’s running around with an egg on his head, he’s a local lad, we going for Category One (academy) status, we want 50% of our players to come from our academy and he was getting the bird. I don’t like it.
“He was getting the bird and all, I can tell you. I was getting the ump because I don’t like it. Support our players. When you’re having a tough time that’s when you need somebody to pat you on the back and cheer you on.
“I would have loved for him to score the winner because he’s such a great lad. He runs his socks off every week.
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“He would have scored that winner too if it wasn’t for the massive egg on his head (sustained during a clash of heads in the first half).
“He’s alright, it’s me that’s got the ump. If you’re in my camp you’re inside p****** out, not outside p***** in. I want my fans to make it hard for the opposition, not for us. Be hostile towards the team in the other coloured shirts.”
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In a largely forgettable match, Ipswich broke the deadlock through David McGoldrick’s 73rd minute penalty but were pegged back when Troy Deeney slid in to convert at the near post in the 81st minute.
“In the end I’ll take the point,” said McCarthy, whose side remain ninth in the table and three points adrift of the play-off places following just three defeats in 17.
“Last year Watford came here and played 3-5-2 and murdered us (winning 2-0). I think it shows how far we’ve come. They’re a good side, they’ve got good players and were in the play-offs last season remember.
“Overall maybe they deserved a point because we weren’t that dominant.
“I didn’t make any subs because my experience is that you can make the substitution and it can win you the game or you can make the substitution and it can lose you the game. I’ll take another point and we’ll march on.”
On Watford’s new Italian manager Giuseppe Sannino – who, along with his backroom staff, can’t speak English – McCarthy said: “I wasn’t having a ding-dong with him, far from it. I was actually telling the fourth official to shut up and leave him alone. The poor little fella has just come in to English football, he’s had four days in charge and all he’s done is step out of the (technical) box! Apparently the linesman can’t run up and down.
“It wasn’t a polite, ‘please step back’ either, it was a ‘stand in your box or get sent to the stands’. I went ‘you what?! Do me a favour, let’s make him welcome’.
“I think some of their bench misconstrued what I was saying, they said something to me and I said ‘I’m trying to help him, I’m on his side, shut up!’
“I like him, I like his passion on the sides and he had a smile on his face.”