Reaction: Match winner Brett Pitman is a battler – and that’s the tooth!
Ipswich Town striker Brett Pitman overcame bad toothache to be a pain in the backside of Fulham tonight, the striker scoring the winner in a 2-1 victory.
Freddie Sears put the Blues in front after just 16 seconds, Ross McCormack’s 14th minute free-kick levelled things up, but Ipswich made it four away wins on the trot thanks to Pitman’s deft 57th minute finish.
With the 27-year-old having now scored seven goals in all competitions since his summer switch from Bournemouth, McCarthy revealed: “Brett deserves all the credit because he hasn’t trained since Saturday. He came in and had toothache.
“He had root canal treatment yesterday, travelled on the bus with a splitting headache and toothache. He didn’t sleep well for two nights this week.
“I think he epitomised my team’s performance the way he went about his job having been fairly poorly to be honest.”
With Ipswich closing the gap on fifth-placed Burnley to a point, the Blues boss continued: “We played very well and I think we deserved to win.
“It was a fabulous finish by Freddie because he was running at full pelt, so to be as calm as he was to finish was great. He’s been fabulous for us all season.
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“I think we let them off the hook a bit with the free-kick and goal that we gave away, although it was a great strike by (Ross) McCormack.”
Fulham ended the match with five forwards on the field and Town had five defenders.
“It was necessary to put another big fella on (Piotr Malarczyk) and go with five at the back because they went to plan B and wanted to pump it in the box and big Matt (Smith) is a handful,” said McCarthy. “We dealt with it really well. Maybe we’ve just got that bit of something going on for us at the minute too and carrying that bit of luck.”
He added: “Brighton, Burnley, Middlesbrough, Hull and Derby will all stay the course, I don’t doubt that. It’s up to us to try and stay with them.”