Reaction: Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy praises his team and responds to tactical criticism after 2-1 defeat at QPR
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy praised his team’s ‘terrific’ performance, but bemoaned another two poor goals conceded as a frustratingly inconsistent campaign continued with a 2-1 defeat at QPR this afternoon.
The Blues played well for large spells and Tom Lawrence scored a breathtaking long-range equaliser in the 48th minute, but ultimately it counted for nothing thanks to two soft goals conceded – Idrissa Sylla netting after Christophe Berra mis-judged a long throw (38) and Pawel Wszolek rounding keeper Bartosz Bialkowski for the 83rd minute winner after Adam Webster mis-judged a long ball over the top.
“If frustrated is another word for completely p****d off then yes I am,” said McCarthy.
“We conceded two bad goals, that’s what went wrong. We played really well, created loads of chances, the second half was a terrific performance, but we haven’t managed to score and gave a milky goal away. We shouldn’t have lost that game.”
Asked if he was pleased with the performance, he said: “Yeah, very. I thought we played really well and it was a good performance all round.
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“It’s two good performances (including the 2-1 win against Bristol City last Friday), but not two good results unfortunately.
“You’ve more chance of winning when you’re playing well – and we have played well today – but if you give bad goals away it’s going to be difficult.”
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McCarthy started with a 3-5-2 system, with homegrown teenagers Josh Emmanuel and Myles Kenlock in the wing-back positions.
“I wanted two up front and I knew they’d be playing three in the middle, so I matched them up there,” he explained. “The team or formation had nothing to do with the (opening) goal. I thought we played well first half.”
The Blues boss replaced Emmanuel with Grant Ward and the formation changed to 4-4-2.
“We played well, but they were sticking it in behind us and in the channels and having a bit of joy,” he said, when asked about the switch. “I just wanted to get Wardy on for a bit more of an attacking threat. I thought Josh played well. It was nothing to do with his performance why I took him off, I just wanted to go to 4-4-2.”
A large number of the 2,000+ away fans made it be known that they were not happy with the two second-half changes which followed. Jonathan Douglas replaced Kevin Bru in the 69th minute, then Jonas Knudsen came on for Kenlock in the 77th minute.
“Myles, unfortunately, was struggling with his calf when I took him off,” explained McCarthy. “I would like to have maybe changed the strikers and gone a bit more attacking, but I couldn’t because of that forced change.”
With some supporters chanting the name of teenage midfielder Andre Dozzell, who had made such a positive impact in the 2-1 win over Bristol City last Friday, McCarthy said: “I guess that’s what they want to see, but we’re away from home and it’s a different game completely to the Bristol City match.
“Kevin Bru was running on empty and it required Dougie in there otherwise we might have got over-run.
“Ah look, the criticism can be levelled because we’ve lost. We’ve just given two p***-poor goals away in an otherwise good performance.
“It gives people a stick to beat with me because we’ve lost, but ultimately that’s b******t.”
With the January transfer window open, McCarthy was asked about several in-coming and out-going stories regarding Town.
On reported interest in Rotherham striker Danny Ward, he would only say: “I wouldn’t tell you if there was.”
Ward played a full match for the Millers today as they lost 3-0 at Leeds. Manager Paul Warne confirmed afterwards that there had been a bid from an unnamed club for the front man, who is out of contract in the summer, but said it wasn’t Ipswich.
Town have also been linked with 22-year-old out-of-favour Fulham striker Cauley Woodrow. When the youngster’s name was mentioned, McCarthy sarcastically interjected ‘Plays for Fulham’. Asked if he might not be playing for them soon, he replied: “They want him to go out on loan, so probably yes.”
Blues skipper Luke Chambers has been linked with a move to Championship rivals Wolves. McCarthy said: “I’ve not heard anything about that. I don’t want to lose anybody. I haven’t got many players I can afford to ship out.”
Town now host high-flying National League side Lincoln City in the FA Cup third round on Saturday.
McCarthy said: “I’ve not given it too much thought. I’ll be playing as strong a side as possible because we need to win it.”