Reaction: ‘I made more noise than the crowd tonight’ – Mick McCarthy hopes Ipswich Town fans have been lifted by late win against Reading
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy hopes Brett Pitman’s late winner against Reading tonight has won over a few of the supporters who were beginning to lose faith in the club.
You sensed that the mood was beginning to turn a little sour following a controversial FA Cup exit and an underwhelming January transfer window, and the atmosphere was certainly flat at Portman Road tonight – the attendance of 16,616 Town’s lowest in the league this season.
Ryan Fraser’s opener was cancelled out by Garath McCleary’s penalty, but then substitute Pitman struck in the 89th minute to lift the Blues back into the Championship play-off places and make it an incredible 16 straight Tuesday night wins on home turf.
“I think me and TC (assistant Terry Connor) made more noise than the crowd tonight with our barking and shouting and growling!” joked McCarthy. “I hope that’s not a reflection on the fact that we’ve had a couple of defeats and were suddenly out of the top six.
“The top six is there to be had right until the very last minute, as we know from last season, and we need to stick together. Our support has been outstanding, the away support has just been magnificent, and I understand that some nights it can be like it was tonight.
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“Anyway, we resurrected one or two in the 89th minute tonight didn’t we?”
He continued: “I’m chuffed for everybody. It wasn’t a great game, I think they’re a really good side and that was probably one of our hardest games all season. I said to them at half-time ‘just keep grinding it out – we might nick it in the 90th minute’.
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“It was tough, at times it was really scrappy, but we showed endurance, resilience, and we kept going. Those are qualities of ours which are much-maligned sometimes unfortunately.
“That’s with us having not spend big, not going out and taking loan players on 20 grand a week. We’re doing it with a great bunch of lads who are fighting tooth and nail.”
On Pitman, who has now scored eight goals this season, McCarthy said: “Brett is unlucky to be out the team. I changed the formation at Brighton and he’s not been in since, but what’s lovely about Brett is that he doesn’t whinge, he just gets on with it and comes on and scores the winner now and again.”
And on the penalty that Cole Skuse conceded, he said: “Cole was magnificent tonight, unbelievably good. I was moaning like a drain that it wasn’t a penalty, but I asked him afterwards if it was and he pulled a face, so maybe it was!”