'I never said we'd stop trying' - McCarthy still thinks play-offs are out of reach despite Wednesday win
PUBLISHED: 22:46 06 March 2018 | UPDATED: 23:03 06 March 2018
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Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy still thinks the play-offs are out of reach despite tonight’s 2-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday.
Martyn Waghorn ended his 15-game goal drought in style by scoring twice, a close-range opener (51) and sublime free-kick winner (83) coming either side of Lucas Joao’s leveller (69).
Back-to-back away victories have moved the Blues back into the top-half of the Championship table. The gap to the sixth-spot has narrowed to seven points with a game-in-hand to play.
With home matches against Sheffield United (Saturday) and Hull City (Tuesday) coming up, McCarthy said: “It’s two really good wins at Preston and Sheffield Wednesday. Having missed the Hull game (postponed last Saturday due to the snow) I was asked would it affect us and I said I hope not. And it didn’t.
“I ruled out the play-offs (after a draw at Norwich), but I never said we’d pack up and stop trying to win games and to get there. I still think it’s too much.
“Seven points behind with a game in hand you say? Let’s hope we win the game in hand...”
Town are now unbeaten in nine games at Hillsborough, while McCarthy remains unbeaten at the home of the Owls during 26 years of management.
“It would appear so,” joked McCarthy, when it was put to him that he clearly likes coming to the iconic South Yorkshire stadium. “I certainly enjoyed that tonight.
“I think overall we deserved to win. It was a right royal scrap in the first half. We didn’t allow them to play when for the last few years they have passed it around and made the pitch big. I thought we stopped that, we matched them in every department and probably shaded it.
“I know Bart (Bialkowski) has made a save with his face, it’s hit him in the kipper, but he kept it out the net which he’s pretty good at. Second half we’ve been the better team. It’s great to see Waggy get his goals and the second one was real quality. I think we deserved it overall.”
Asked if he thought Waghorn – now on 12 goals for the season – could hit the net regularly again, McCarthy said: “I sincerely hope so. I was getting growly at him in the first half because he shot from 30 yards and snatched at another one. He was getting frustrated, so hopefully he can calm down a bit and play his game.”