Mick McCarthy insists his side aren’t ‘frail’ following 2-1 defeat to Royale Union Saint-Gilloise

Town manager Mick McCarthy can't hide his frustration during the Ipswich Town v Royale Union Saint-G

Town manager Mick McCarthy can't hide his frustration during the Ipswich Town v Royale Union Saint-Gilloise (Pre-season friendly) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 30 July 2016. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy insisted his side are not ‘frail’ after an underwhelming pre-season campaign with a 2-1 defeat to Belgian second-tier side Royale Union Saint-Gilloise this afternoon.

The Blues dominated for the majority of the game against poor opposition and, after coming close several times in the first half, finally took the lead when Daryl Murphy headed home just after the hour mark.

Mick McCarthy’s men let their guard down after that though and conceded twice in less then three minutes as Mathias Fixelles netted at the end of a swift counter-attack following a home corner and Nicolas Rajsel drifted inside too easily to score at the near post.

“I should be stood here waxing lyrical about a really good performance and a comfortable win, but then we gave away two poor goals,” said McCarthy, who was far calmer in his demeanour than he was after the 1-1 draw at Cambridge United.

“It’s a good equaliser from them, they’ve broke on us, but it’s a dereliction of duty on the edge of our box and gross stupidity from our point of view that we’ve conceded.

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“We played very well, I thought it was a good performance. They didn’t really trouble us in the first half. I’m not sure they troubled us in the second half either until we gave a goal away. We all know, putting the ball in the net is the hardest part of the game though.

“Performance wise, for 65 minutes, I thought it was great and I should be talking about that rather than the stupidity of giving the first goal away and conceding a second one pretty soon after that.”

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Town may have passed the ball well in pre-season, but they haven’t been ruthless in attack and have conceded some soft goals at the other end. Their previous results read: Shelbourne (Irish second-tier) W 2-1, Barnet (League Two) L 1-0, Colchester United (League Two) W 1-0, Cambridge United (League Two) D 1-1 and Charlton Athletic (League One) D 0-0.

Asked if he was concerned by some of the soft goals conceded, he curtly replied: “Yeah”.

But should that frailty be there with the Championship opener against Barnsley, at Portman Road, just a week away?

“I don’t like that word, we’re not frail,” he said. “It was a mistake. In fairness it was probably Jonas (Knudsen) wanting to go and compete for a ball he shouldn’t have done. I love his attitude, but he should have just let Dozza (Andre Dozzell) deal with it.

“The fact we’ve conceded goals means I’ve been able to speak to them about it and I hope it doesn’t happen in league games.”

Meanwhile, McCarthy says he won’t necessarily sign traillist Roland Lamah after the Belgian international winger, 28, impressed. The home fans chnated ‘sign him up’, but the Blues boss said: “He’s one of a few players we’re considering for that position, but I thought he really did well today. He contributed.”

On the prospect on in-coming transfers, he would only say: “We’re still working on it. I’m hopeful we’ll have somebody in before Saturday.”

Dean Gerken (hamstring), Luke Hyam (knee) and Brett Pitman (toe) all sat out through injury today, but McCarthy says he expects them all to be fot enough to be part of the squad next weekend.

With Tommy Smith replacing Christophe Berra at half-time, McCarthy said: “Him and Tommy were always going to have 45 minutes each.”

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