McCarthy in philosophical mood ahead of crunch clash at Cardiff, despite his midweek ‘microwave sleep’

Town manager Mick McCarthy applauds the fans as he comes on the pitch with assistant Terry Connor ah

Town manager Mick McCarthy applauds the fans as he comes on the pitch with assistant Terry Connor ahead of the Ipswich Town v Nottingham Forest (Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 05 March 2016. Picture: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

You’d excuse Mick McCarthy for being tired and grumpy following Tuesday night’s 2-2 draw at Bolton, but instead he was in philosophical mood ahead of another long trip.

The Blues were so close to securing a third successive victory on Tuesday night, but then Ainsley Maitland-Niles gave away a needless penalty in the 96th minute and Stephen Dobbie converted to save rock-bottom Bolton a draw.

The Town team coach got back from Lancashire at 4.10am on Wednesday morning and will be back on the road again this afternoon for another 500-mile round trip – this time to Cardiff.

It’s seventh versus eighth in south Wales, the two teams both a point outside the play-off places, and McCarthy insists there is no time to dwell on any midweek frustration.

“We’ve just got to get on with it,” he said. “My philosophical view is that had you said to me before the Huddersfield game ‘Mick, would you take being one point off the play-offs, with a game in hand, but you concede a 96th minute equaliser at Bolton from a penalty?’ Would I have took it? Damn right I’d have took it.

“I look at the last three games. We could have lost all them three. At Huddersfield (a 1-0 win) we could have been well behind before we scored, we played well against Forest (winning 1-0 at home) but they had chances.

“Of course it irks me that we were 2-0 up and we didn’t take the points at Bolton, but fair’s fair, they deserved a point – at least a point.

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“It would be completely wasted energy whingeing about what we haven’t got instead of focusing our energy on what we have got and where we could be if we win on Saturday.”

Asked what the journey was like back from Lancashire, he said: “Every journey is better when you’ve got three points and haven’t conceded in the 96th minute. It doesn’t make it any shorter, it just feels shorter, that’s all.

“It’s just a long way, but we are geographically challenged in terms of getting around the country aren’t we?

“It was 10 past four I think when we got back. I got to bed at half four, then at 10 past five I’m still looking at the watch, then up again at 10 past eight. It was a microwave sleep! I’m aright though, I’m fine with it, it’s the players that need the rest in order to go again having played as hard as they do.

“That’s tough for them in terms of seizing up and the legs getting stiff, but it’s not tough because it’s a luxury problem. We’re sat on a bus with leather seats, we can all watch the telly and we can all have coffees.

“For me it’s a piece of cake. I love getting on the bus; I get my headphones on, the phone doesn’t ring, it’s absolutely brilliant – I love it! As a player I whinged though, I used to hate all that.”

Cardiff started 2016 by winning six out of 11 league games to move within touching distance of the play-off places, but lost 2-0 at home to Leeds on Tuesday night. Russell Slade’s men were applauded from the field though after dominating the match, even when they were reduced to 10 men following Fabio Da Silva’s dismissal.

“They beat Brighton 4-1 recently, which was an unbelievable result given how Brighton were going, but I think they defended badly that day,” said McCarthy, whose team host Blackburn and Rotherham next Tuesday and Saturday respectively.

“Apparently they battered Leeds on Tuesday night and Leeds ended up nicking but, as we know, that happens sometimes.

“They’re a good side Cardiff. Whether losing at home and knowing we’re coming will put them on the back foot bit I don’t know, but if it does we’ll try and take advantage.

“There’s always pressure on the home team, but on the flip side of that we’ve got to do the travelling. If we play well though then we’ve got a chance of beating anybody.”

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