Mick McCarthy hails ‘huge’ Ipswich win at Burton after earlier results left him sweating
Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy admitted tonight’s 2-1 victory at fellow Championship strugglers Burton Albion was ‘huge’.
The Blues saw their gap to the relegation zone cut to six points earlier in the day after Blackburn, Wigan and Bristol City all recorded victories, but responded well to the pressure to restore their nine point cushion heading into Monday’s visit of Newcastle.
Ex-Town striker Luke Varney scored an own goal and Freddie Sears doubled the lead, but Lucas Aitkens’ penalty set up a nervy finish as Lasse Vigen Christensen struck the bar deep into stoppage-time. Town, ultimately, were deserved winners though.
“It’s a huge win,” said McCarthy. “I was sweating when I saw the results earlier today.
“This game was going to be Saturday afternoon, but we both wanted to change it because we didn’t want Saturday-Monday. They’ve made it Friday night under lights, because that’s always a better atmosphere, but maybe it worked against them because Wigan won, Blackburn won, Birmingham drew... We had all day to think about that. I certainly was and I’m sure they did too. Maybe that added more pressure on them.
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“Our players were all saying ‘this might happen and that might happen’. I said ‘hold on a minute, we’ve got Newcastle next, so it might be wise to put it to bed tonight’. We probably have done that.
“I can’t say we are 100% per cent safe, I’d be stupid to say that, but it doesn’t look like they will all catch us now.”
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Asked if he had any sympathy for Varney, who was a popular figure at Portman Road, McCarthy said: “Varns is a wonderful, wonderful lad, I love him to bits, but I don’t give sympathy out and I don’t expect it back.
“Maybe it’s a charitable penny. We put him up for 12 months and got him fit. I didn’t expect him to score the goal which probably keeps us up though!”
He added: “It was a good performance, but as ever we did it the hard way by giving a penalty away and then they hit the crossbar. It just keeps my heart rate going!
“I can’t say Myles Kenlock was brilliant and dopey in equal measure, because he wasn’t, but it wasn’t a good penalty to give away. I think he was just working on my ticker! He had a really good game, it was probably as well as he’s played for us, and is developing nicely.”
With both teams having penalty appeals waved away and Kenlock having a goal ruled out for offside, McCarthy said: “We had a goal wrongly disallowed. There was an announcement about a dodgy package at half-time – yeah, it was that disallowed goal! It took so long for him to put his flag up. I’ve looked at it since and he’s not offside. It doesn’t matter though. We won.”
On man-of-the-match David McGoldrick, he added: “He’s at his pomp again isn’t he? We all know what a good player he is, he’s had some terrible injuries that have cost us, but he’s been very good tonight.”