QPR 2 Ipswich Town 1 reaction: Mick McCarthy not happy with referee, but admits his side deserved nothing

Mick McCarthy urges his players on at Loftus RoadPicture Pagepix

Mick McCarthy urges his players on at Loftus RoadPicture Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy was left fuming at the referee, but admits his side deserved nothing from this afternoon’s 2-1 Championship defeat at QPR.

David McGoldrick is left appealing from the floor at Loftus Road Picture Pagepix

David McGoldrick is left appealing from the floor at Loftus Road Picture Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Official Andy Davies failed to spot an obvious handball by Massimo Luongo in the build-up to Jamie Mackie’s opener just a minute before the break, with Luke Freeman taking advantage of some slow closing down to net a killer second less than four minutes after the restart.

The Hoops pushed for a third for much of the second half before substitute Bersant Celina scored a cracker in the 89th minute to set-up a barnstorming finish in which Tom Adeyemi missed a golden chance to equalise.

Asked if there had been a handball prior to the first goal, McCarthy produced a wry smile. He said: “It did to me and it did to the QPR bench who were laughing at the decision. I was relying on the officials to give it. I’ve been to see the referee, he was gracious enough to accept me, and I’ve told him what I think of the decision and what it’s done to the game. It was pretty much going nowhere at that point.

“We’ve lost the game and I know I sound like a right moaning old git, but it’s handball!”

He continued: “First half it was just a scrap, pretty much, but they had the better of it. The goal before half-time has knocked the stuffing out of us a bit. Then the defending for the second goal was really poor. And when they get 2-0 up here they are a good side.

“That finish (to the game) put a gloss on it. The goal from Bersant was brilliant, but it put a gloss on the performance it doesn’t really deserve. They were better than us, but I’m pissed at the helping hand they got. We all know if we get a goal at Portman Road just before half-time we come out a much better team. That’s what happened for them.”

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With Manchester City loanee Celina still awaiting his first Championship start, McCarthy said: “He showed what his qualities are and he’s done himself a lot of good for being in the team.”

Asked if the skilful Kosovan international attacker could get the nod for next weekend’s visit of Bolton, the Blues boss said: “I’ve just answered that question, I said ‘he’s done himself a load of good’.”

Town won their opening four league games but have now suffered back-to-back defeats either side of the international break.

“Listen, I was not conned by that start,” said McCarthy. “I didn’t suddenly think we were a top two team and be up there all season long. There is no point not enjoying it while you are there though, winning games and scoring goals. We’ll have to be far more resolute than we were today though, and tougher and more aggressive.

“We’ve now got Bolton at home and we need a response for that one.”

Asked for his thoughts on Callum Connolly’s debut, the teenage Everton loanee starting at right-back, McCarthy said: “Jamie Mackie pulled onto him and he had a tough baptism with us.”

On his decision to partner Dominic Iorfa and Jordan Spence at the heart of the defence, he said: “I’ve not got many defenders to pick and choose from have I? Dom has got the tools to play there. We’ll see how that one pans out.”