Mick McCarthy makes his players self-analyse a video nasty of the six soft goals conceded against QPR and Preston

Ipswich Town keeper Scott Loach asks questions of his defenders after Ipswich went 2-1 behind at Pre

Ipswich Town keeper Scott Loach asks questions of his defenders after Ipswich went 2-1 behind at Preston on Tuesday night. PHOTO: PAGEPIX LTD

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy yesterday made his players sit through a video nasty of the six soft goals they conceded against QPR and Preston.

The Blues boss – a former centre-back – prides himself on his teams being organised defensively.

The last two performances have therefore been very out of character. In last weekend’s 3-1 home defeat to QPR, Niko Kranjcar dribbled past three players to score the opener, keeper Dean Gerken parried a long-range shot straight into Gary O’Neil’s path for the second, while Tommy Smith made a hash of a long ball in the lead-up to Armand Traore netting number three.

In Tuesday night’s 3-2 defeat at League One side Preston (an FA Cup third-round replay), it was deja vu as substitute Joe Garner was gifted a hat-trick; the striker unmarked to head home from a corner, given time and space to chest down and shoot home seconds after the Ipswich restart, with Town then punished at the death after failing to properly clear their lines.

“I was having a growl on Tuesday and it’s not often I get like that,” said McCarthy. “There were a lot of things I was annoyed, frustrated and angry about. I started picking the bones out of it straight after the game and then I stopped, because that probably wasn’t the time to do it.

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“Instead I asked the players to have a look back at it this morning, on their own, before I went in with them. If I’d have been in there finger pointing, shouting and screaming it wouldn’t have got the right reaction.

“They have to recognise it themselves because if they don’t see themselves as part of the problem for a goal then they have no chance of being part of the solution. They have to take responsibility themselves and they did, to be fair.

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“One puts their hands up and says ‘I should have done better with that header’ and someone else says ‘yeah, I should have covered around’ and another says ‘I should have been there’. I then said to them ‘don’t worry about that game now, it’s gone, let’s just not see it again’.”

Ipswich have not lost three games in a row since the dark days at the end of Paul Jewell’s managerial reign. Tomorrow, the Blues travel to Millwall – a side winless in seven, but motivated to impress new manager Ian Holloway in what will be his first home game in charge.

“I do pride myself on organisation,” said McCarthy. “It only takes one just not to do their job, certainly marking at a corner, and it ends up in the back of the net. Look at the way he (QPR’s Kranjcar) wriggled out of the corner to score – that’s not us.

“If I saw that happen in training, I would stop the session immediately and say ‘what was that?!’

“That is just not us, but we’re all human, we’re all fallible and, do you know what, we all have periods in a season where we lose and make mistakes which cost games.

“We’ve just got to get over it now and get back to playing well because for most of the season we’ve been different class.

“We’ve only lost one in the league, but nevertheless it’s two defeats on the bounce and I don’t want that to become three.”

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