McCarthy: Change the back four? What are my options?

Mick McCarthy and Terry Connor shout instructions at The Riverside

Mick McCarthy and Terry Connor shout instructions at The Riverside

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has no regrets about sticking with his preferred back four.

The Blues defence looked extremely shaky in Saturday’s damaging 4-1 defeat at Championship promotion rivals Middlesbrough.

Several sloppy goals have been conceded in 2015, the Blues having slipped from second to seventh in the table following the return of 14 points from a possible 39.

“It’s extremely frustrating because they’ve been excellent the lads,” said McCarthy. “Maybe it’s got something to do with the fact that Chambo (Luke Chambers), Tommy (Smith), Ty (Tyrone Mings) and Christophe (Berra) have played all the games just about. Maybe that’s taken its toll?

“I don’t know. I’m not looking to pin blame on anybody.”

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Asked if he had any regrets about sticking loyally with his back four, he replied: “If I wanted to change it, tell me what are my options are and where all these defenders are going to come from?”

When it was pointed out that Jonathan Parr played at right-back earlier in the season, allowing Luke Chambers to operate in his preferred central position, he said: “Jonathan Parr set the goal up today and has been playing great in midfield.

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“It’s always the same. We can all pick the team when we’re getting beat. When we were winning it was a great team and a great back four.

“I don’t hold the back four totally responsible for the goals and what’s happened.”

Conceding his team’s automatic promotion hopes were all but over, the Blues boss added: “It’s not like us, it is frustrating and it is damaging. Of course.

“It’s damaging our prospects of getting in the play-offs, but we’ve got to recover from this. We’ve got Bolton at home on Tuesday.”

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