Mick McCarthy says keeper Bartosz Bialkowski received ‘ironic man-of-the-match award’ after eventful East Anglian derby
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy says goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski received the ‘ironic man-of-the-match award’ after the Polish custodian’s eventful afternoon in this lunchtime’s 1-1 draw with Norwich City at Portman Road.
Bialkowski made a string of super saves – including breathtaking stops to keep out a potential Jonas Knuden own goal and thunderous Alex Tettey drive – but was beaten down low at his near post for Jacob Murphy’s equaliser, barely five minutes after Knudsen had headed the Blues in front.
“We’ve had to be tough and resolute and organised and hard-working because they are a good side,” said McCarthy, whose side have gone through ‘Fearsome February’ unbeaten. “We scored a really good goal from our best bit of play and Bartosz has won the ironic man-of-the-match award because he was absolutely magnificent, but was not happy with the shot he let in.
“He’s been magnificent all season. He’s outstanding, he really is. I have no axe to grind with him about the goal at all. I’ve said he’s the best keeper in the division, that’s pretty subjective that and I’m not a goalkeeping coach, but if there is anybody who has got their team as many points this year I’d like to see them.”
The Blues boss continued: “I haven’t seen it, but I’m told we should have had a penalty (when David McGoldrick was wrestled to the ground at a corner early on). That makes no odds whether we should or we shouldn’t because it wasn’t given and there’s no point whinging about it. These things even themselves out.
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“We had a goal disallowed in the game at home which should have been a goal, so perhaps we haven’t had our luck in that respect. They had the better chances so I’m delighted with a point. I’d have taken a point before we set off.
“It keeps our unbeaten run going and it puts the brakes on any run they might be having as well, which doesn’t upset me greatly to be honest!
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“They put a nine million pounds substitute on (Alex Pritchard) and I’ve put on one that cost 20 grand from non-league (Kieffer Moore). I’ve got a right wing-back (Jordan Spence) who I took on a free. My lads are great. They were playing against a team that cost a hell of a lot of money and that has just come down from the Premier League.
“I couldn’t be happier or prouder of my lads. They are great.”