McCarthy delighted by battling away point against a Bournemouth side ‘nailed on’ for top-six
Bournemouth v Ipswich: Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy was delighted to see his side twice come from behind to secure a 2-2 draw at Bournemouth this afternoon – a side he feels are ‘nailed on’ to finish in the top six.
Teddy Bishop’s cool side-footed finish (50) and Daryl Murphy’s emphatic header (76) cancelled out Yann Kermorgant’s stunning acrobatic opener (2) and Matt Ricthie’s close-range finish (54).
Eddie Howe’s side played some easy-on-eye football, showing just way they are unbeaten in nine matches and second place in the Championship table. Town never gave up though and, while they were second best in open play, they were always a threat from Paul Anderson’s excellent set-piece deliveries.
“They are a damn good team and we’ve done really well to get a point here today,” said McCarthy, whose side move up to fourth in the standings following just one defeat in 14. “I thought it was a great game, a great advert for the Championship.
“They were on fire at the start. They caused us a lot of problems, but we worked our way back into it. I was thinking ‘we’ve conceded, don’t concede another – don’t try and get it back straight away, try and be calm, try and be composed’.
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“We hit the crossbar a couple of times, their keeper made a save, so we had our chances too. Set-pieces are part of the game. If you have good deliveries you’ve got a chance of scoring.”
Reiterating his pre-match view that Bournemouth are destined for a top-six finish, McCarthy said: “They are nailed on, they will be in the top six. They will be a promotion candidate.”
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So how good is this point then?
“I say it all the time, every point away from home is a good one – wherever you get it,” said the Blues boss. “I’ll take a point without getting on the bus, me.
“I think it’s a real tough, competitive league this. We’ve gone to Derby and got a point, Nottingham Forest and got a point, come here and got a point. They are all good away points, especially as we’re doing well at home.”
Town left-back Tyrone Mings had a big hand in both his side’s goals, directly assisting the first and winning the free-kick which led to the second. It was a great response from the youngster after an angry exchange with home fans was quickly followed by a booking for a foul.
“I don’t know what they’re shouting at him,” said McCarthy. “They’ll be giving him dog’s abuse no doubt, because that’s what happens with football crowds, and he’s probably reacted to it. If someone was screaming abuse at me I’d be more than likely to react as well.
“He’s a young man who’s doing exceptionally well. He’s played against a top player today in Ritchie. He’s fine. He’s great.”
One big talking point surrounded an incident which occurred with the match finely-balanced at 2-2, the home crowd screaming for a penalty after substitute Tokelo Rantie went down in the box after trying to surge between Tommy Smith and Luke Chambers.
The South African international required lengthy treatment to a dislocated shoulder after the incident, leading to 12 minutes of nervy stoppage-time for the visitors.
“I’ve seen it again and it’s nowhere near a penalty,” said McCarthy. “Not a chance was it a penalty. And besides, he was about 10 yards offside. You can all have a look at it and let me know if you think I’m a lier. I’m not rose-coloured specs at all.”
Cherries boss Eddie Howe disagreed strongly, saying: “I’ve seen it again and we felt it was a clear-cut penalty. He’s stepped inside two players and been brought down by a player in a blue shirt. I can’t understand why he hasn’t given it. I’m surprised as the referee is in a decent position.
“The referee (Michael Bull) had, to put it politely, a very, very tough afternoon. I thought he got a lot of decisions wrong for both teams. It’s probably best I leave it at that.”
He added: “We had some very good chances to add to our lead. Credit to Ipswich, they dug in and came away with something from a game they perhaps didn’t deserve to. I couldn’t be more pleased with my team and the standard of football we played though. Our quality in the final third was probably as good as it’s been all season. We opened them up countless times. All that was missing was taking our chances, because we had enough to win the game comfortably.
“That was as good as we’ve played all season, we just didn’t get the result to match.”
Meanwhile, McCarthy confirmed that Kevin Bru has injured ankle ligaments and could be out for two to four weeks, while Mings picked up a dead leg and is a doubt for Saturday’s trip to Charlton. Christophe Berra picked up his fifth booking of the season and will miss the game at The Valley as a result.
– See Monday’s EADT and Ipswich Star for comment and more reaction.