Reaction: Ipswich Town hit five at Rotherham, but Mick McCarthy not fully satisfied
He may have seen his team score five goals for the first time in his three-year tenure as manager, but Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy was still not fully satisfied following this afternoon’s 5-2 victory at rock-bottom Rotherham.
The Blues utterly dominated the opening 55 minutes of the game and raced into a 4-0 lead, but the Championship’s basement side scored twice in the space of four minutes to completely change the complexion of the game. It made for an unnecessary nervy few minutes, Daryl Murphy eventually killing the game off with his hat-trick goal in the 72nd minute.
“It was a great game for us,” said McCarthy, whose team have now won back-to-back games following a seven-game winless streak.
“I was going to say it should have been better, but I’m not sure how much better you get than a 5-2 victory away from home.
“Their first goal is a bit of an unstoppable shot (Brandon Barker), but I still think we should have been tight and not let him on the inside, even though it was a fabulous finish.
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“The second one, we went to sleep. It was a dozy back four and he (Matt Derbyshire) should never have got into that position. I’m a bit miffed about that one. That annoyed me.
“But, come on, overall it was an outstanding performance. We put five in and could have put in maybe another three or four. We were running riot in the first half.”
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He continued: “Yes, I’ll enjoy the result and performance, because it was good, but those two goals could have cost us. If they’d have got another one they’d have been rampaging forwards. I don’t particularly like that. We should have been a bit more secure. It did give me a little murmur in my ticker for a while when it went to 4-2.
“Going forwards we were excellent though.”
Town remain 10th in the table and four points adrift of the play-off places heading into an international break.
McCarthy said: “I think a lot has been made of our dip in form. We’ve only lost four games, which is the eighth best in the league. I look back on two games that cost us four points – Brentford away when we conceded twice in last few minutes, that should never have happened, and Nottingham Forest (when Ipswich were again pegged back deep in stoppage-time). If we’d have held on in those two games we’d be up in the top six.”
Murphy became the first Town player to score a hat-trick since Connor Wickham netted three in a 6-0 win at Doncaster back in 2011. The Irishman finished last season as the Championship’s 27-goal top-scorer but went into this match without a goal to his name in this campaign.
“Everyone is delighted for Daryl,” said McCarthy. “It’s lovely to have him back scoring. I think Brett Pitman has played a big part in that because physically he’s taken a bit of the responsibility. It’s sad for Didzy (David McGoldrick) though, because he’s got a groin injury. Freddie (Sears) down the left has benefitted Murph too.”
Asked if he always believed that it was a case of when, not if, Murphy would end his goal drought, the Blues boss said: “Somebody said to me the other day that form is temporary and class is permanent. I hope that rule fits for him.
“I was certain he would get his goals after the last three performances because he’s got back to being hard-working and being a real pest. He gets chances both for himself and others when he’s strong up front. I just think he’s been back to his diligent best recently.
“I don’t pick other managers’ teams, but I would imagine he’s put himself back in (Republic of Ireland manager) Martin O’Neill’s plans. (Shane) Long is injured and Jonathan Walters is suspended, but now he’s got the free-scoring Daryl Murphy for the Bosnia game.”
Was he surprised that this was Murphy’s first hat-trick in English football? “Not really because he’s only ever really scored 10-15 goals a season. Those sort of players don’t usually get hat-tricks. The only surprise was that he didn’t get one last season when he got 27. Do you know what though, I prefer him to spread them about over the season and get winners in 1-0s.”
With Town having gone into the last two international breaks off the back of defeats (at home to Brighton and away at Blackburn), McCarthy added: “It makes a pleasant change going into an international break on a high because we’ve been s**** before the last two.”