'As long as the lads are with me I can stand anything' – McCarthy explains post-match huddle after Hull defeat
PUBLISHED: 22:57 13 March 2018 | UPDATED: 00:23 14 March 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says he and his players must stick together after tonight’s 3-0 home defeat to Hull City was played out amidst a highly toxic atmosphere.
Town were 2-0 down at the break and conceded again seconds after the restart. A cacophony of boos greeted both the half-time and full-time whistle, with ironic cheers and angry chants both loud and regular throughout a tense evening.
Much of the ire was directed at the Blues boss directly, with McCarthy gathering his staff and players into a group huddle on the field at the end.
“I said that we’ve got to stick together – I was just making sure everybody knows that,” explained McCarthy. “I don’t doubt for one minute that they’ve got my support and I’ve got theirs. It was a tough old evening, but it’s a matter of sticking together and not fragmenting because if we do it will really go pear-shaped.
“I don’t think the atmosphere represented the way we’ve been playing to be quite honest.
“It was horrible, it was awful. It’s dreadful for them to play in that. I said to them at the end that it was to their eternal credit that they kept going actually. Not one of them stopped, none of their heads went down and they kept running, kept tackling, kept chasing and kept trying to play.
“I thanked them for that and I apologised that it’s probably my presence that caused that atmosphere and they shouldn’t have to play in that. But that’s the way it is at the minute. I want everybody to see that we are one – which we are.”
He continued: “It’s not nice, but I can stand that. I tell you what, as long as the lads are with me I can stand anything.
“I don’t think it represents how we’ve played recently and the results that we’ve had. It does seem like unless we win that’s always going to happen now. There’s not a lot I can do about that apart from try and win.”
Asked if wins would be enough to fix his relationship with those who want him out, McCarthy said: “You tell me. You have the ear of them better than I, because I don’t listen to them or take a great deal of notice.”
On the game itself, he said: “It was a bad night tonight, but we’ve played against a good team with good players. Fundamentally it’s a disgrace that they’ve been down there all season long with those players. Fair play to Nigel (Adkins) he’s finally got them going and he’s got a good team.
“We started alright, hit the post, but concede a soft one. It looks like a good strike but I don’t think he should have got a shot as free as he did. There’s a good save from Wardy, then they go and score from a goalkick which should have been another corner to us. We just got out of shape to be honest and they picked us off.
“They were better than us today.”
On his decision to make six changes to his starting line-up following Saturday’s goalless home draw with Sheffield United, McCarthy said: “We’ve had a lot of games recently and have Saturday (away to Bristol City) to come. Waggy (Martyn Waghorn) and Callum (Connolly) were the bigger changes, but they’ve both played a lot of games and are both one booking away from a two-game suspension.
“It’s the squad I’ve got, I made the changes and I thought we could compete with the players I out on the pitch.”