Reaction: Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy hails the impact of teen sub Andre Dozzell after 2-1 home win over Bristol City
Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy was glad that his team were able to turn the jeers to cheers with a gutsy 2-1 home win against Bristol City tonight.
The Blues have stagnated in 2016 and the atmosphere inside Portman Road turned toxic during a limp 2-0 defeat to Fulham on Boxing Day.
It was an encouraging finish to the year though as Brett Pitman’s acrobatic 86th minute winner capped a positive team performance, Kevin Bru’s deft near-post finish (39) having been cancelled out by Tammy Abraham’s scrappy equaliser (52).
“I thought it was an excellent team performance,” said McCarthy. “The only mark on it was the goal we gave away. We seem to get punished for every mistake we make at the minute, but I thought it was a terrific performance.
“I said we had to get back to our identity, which is being hard to play against and being more forceful, and that was definitely the case. We haven’t been doing that. I think teams have enjoyed playing against us recently.
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“This was a gutsy win given the goal we conceded. To continue and get the win shows the team spirit amongst them.”
He continued: “Kevin Bru should score more goals, he’s a quality player. The winner is terrific. Brett is a finisher, a goalscorer. Then (Andre) Dozzell comes on (in the 72nd minute) and gave a master-class. He had his laser on tonight didn’t he?
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“The first question I get asked is ‘why don’t you play him from the start?’ Because it’s all turgid and horrible and he gets smashed around and has to chase back.
“When it opens up you can see his wonderful passing range. Some of balls he played were just sublime. We know we’ve got a player, it’s just picking the moments to use him.”
With Blues fans getting behind the team early on and not turning on them after the equaliser it was a far more positive atmosphere.
“I got some lovely support when I walked out, I also got some boos as well and some jeers,” said McCarthy. “But I understand that. Only we can turn it around and turn the cheers to jeers. I thought we did that this evening and thank goodness they’ve seen a win in the last game of 2016.”