‘It hinges on a poor decision’ – McCarthy reacts to 1-0 loss at Brentford

Jonas Knudsen cannot believe that the referee has awarded a penalty against him at Brentford Picture

Jonas Knudsen cannot believe that the referee has awarded a penalty against him at Brentford Picture Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy said this afternoon’s 1-0 Championship defeat at Brentford hinged on a poor penalty decision.

A flat game short on chances was decided by Neal Maupay’s 72nd minute spot-kick, awarded after Jonas Knudsen brushed into Sergi Canos in the box.

“I’ve just been listening to (Brentford manager) Dean (Smith) saying they deserved one like that, a pretty soft one, so that tells you everything when the home manager is saying that – it wasn’t a penalty,” said McCarthy.

“I can’t do anything about it. We played well today I think. I was happy enough with the performance. I knew it was going to take something like that to win the game.”

He continued: “They were getting frustrated. Our only downside is that we weren’t good enough with the ball. We could have been better and made the most of our opportunities to hurt them. It hinges on a poor decision in my view.”

Town are now winless in six and have drawn a blank in five of their last six matches.

“Yeah (the goals have dried up), but trying to do the same things,” said McCarthy. “When we get the chance he’s made a good save and a good block just at the end of the game. We’re still trying to do the right things. The fellas were great. I am delighted with them.

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“They were great, terrific. Always they have been great. For five-and-a-half years they have never lacked effort. That’s why the opposing manager is saying we have made it as difficult for them as anyone today.”

Asked if his impending summer exit was affecting performances, the Blues boss said: “I can’t for one moment in time imagine it’s helped. But I think you’ve seen the way the players have played for me. They’ve not downed tools or stopped trying. They’ve been terrific today. They have in the last three games. The atmosphere it’s created is not good for anybody though.”

Town fans were treated to an open and entertaining 2-2 draw with Millwall at Portman Road on Monday, but McCarthy had warned fans that it can’t always be that way and that he will ‘always take a boring 1-0 win’.

Asked if he had set-up to frustrate Brentford today, he said: “Well, you know... It’s strange. If Cardiff come and do it to you, as they did to us, by coming and nicking a goal – when he (Kenneth Zohore) handles it and then toe-pokes it in – nobody is bothered. It’s Cardiff and people think it’s brilliant. But because we’ve lost everybody thinks it’s wrong.

“If you think we are as good as every team and we can just go out and play how we want... because we can’t. So you have to do what’s needed. I think we have today, but unfortunately it’s a penalty that’s cost us.”

On the abuse he faced from a section of the away support today, McCarthy said: “Well I can’t for one minute say it’s deserved, warranted or makes me feel warm and cuddly inside. But hey ho, that’s the way it is. They’ve only got five more to do it.”

Town skipper Luke Chambers went off injured after colliding with keeper Bartosz Bialkowski in the first half. McCarthy explained: “He’s cracked a rib apparently. No doubt he’ll be in tomorrow telling me he wants to play! I doubt he will.”

And on Luke Hyam producing an assured display amidst a cacophony of boos, two years on from breaking Brentford forward Alan Judge’s leg at Portman Road, McCarthy said: “It was an excellent performance, I thought emotionally a good performance, for somebody that had to endure constant abuse throughout the game. I’ve just welcomed him to my world!”

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