Reaction: McCarthy admits defeat at Huddersfield heaps extra pressure on back-to-back home games
Huddersfield v Ipswich: Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy admits ‘strong words’ were spoken in the dressing room after his side lost 2-1 at Huddersfield Town this afternoon.
The Blues looked exceedingly shaky in the first half – Nahki Wells and James Vaughan scoring in the 13th and 30th minutes respectively – and never really looked like forcing an equaliser after Luke Varney reduced the deficit minutes after the restart.
With Bournemouth, Norwich, Watford and Derby all winning – and Brentford coming from two goals down to draw – it was a bad day at the office for the Suffolk side, McCarthy’s men remain outside of the play-off places heading into their final five matches.
Asked to sum up his side’s display, the Blues boss said: “Very poor.” Then, after a pause, he added: “When you say that it takes away from the other team’s performance. I can’t do that because Huddersfield played well.
“But we were poor. We just weren’t as competitive as we’ve been all season – something that’s been a real hallmark of my team. We were nowhere near as competitive as we usually are.”
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With his side having had an extra day of rest than a Terriers team that had gone seven matches without a victory, he continued: “I didn’t see that coming today. I thought we started well, we had a good chance early on, we were settling into the game and then we gave a goal away. That seemed to dent everybody’s confidence and knock everybody that.
“It certainly helps when you get the first goal. Had we scored when Tabby (Jay Tabb) had his chance (cleared off the line in the third minute) it could have been a lot different.
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“I think that the opening goal affected Zeki (Fryers, who made a mistake). (Sean) Scannell was having a good time. They relaxed and we tightened up. And although we had a bright start to the second half we never really followed that up.”
Asked what his half-time demeanour had been like, he said: “Pretty angry, but I don’t throw things around – that really is counter productive. I’ve never seen people respond to that. When people look at the floor, they aren’t hanging their heads in shame. All they’re thinking then is ‘shut up’.
“But yes, strong words were spoken. It was the same at full-time. I did have to walk straight off to calm down slightly after the game. I normally stay on the pitch and shake everybody’s hand coming off, but that wasn’t the case. I waited until the dressing room.” He added: “If you keep asking me ‘what was the most disappointing thing’ we could be here until seven o’clock. It was a disappointing afternoon. Shall we just leave it at that?”
With rock-bottom Blackpool, already relegated, visiting Portman Road on Saturday, and mid-table Cardiff coming to Suffolk next Tuesday, McCarthy said: “I’m thinking privately beforehand that – with this game and two home games coming afterwards – would I take seven points? Yeah, I would have done. An away draw today followed by two home wins would have been good. This has just put massive pressure on the two home games now. We’re going to have to find something at Wolves or something at Blackburn too.”
Asked if he’ll pick himself up quickly, he replied: “I can hardly come in here and be happy slappy because I don’t feel like that now and I won’t feel like it tomorrow. I’ll go in with TC (assistant Terry Connor) and watch the game back at seven o’clock in the morning and start repairing myself, ready for Saturday.
“That hasn’t happened too much for us this season so I don’t fear for Saturday.”
On his decision to drop Teddy Bishop and Freddie Sears, only to bring them on at half-time for Richard Chaplow and Chris Wood, he said: “The two lads that have come off have not been regular starters. I feel for them because I could have taken any two off at half-time. Teddy Bishop wouldn’t have got through a full game anywhere. I decided to change it, it’s not worked and I take responsibility for that.”
On Jonny Williams’ appearance off the bench, he said: “It was tough for him because he’s not match hardened. That’s the first time he’s played since he suffered that injury last November.”
And with striker David McGoldrick having not travelled, he said: “He’s hurt his thigh. He did it Saturday morning. He’s had a bad injury and it just keeps niggling away at him unfortunately. That’s just it. We suffered with him having an injury at the end of last season and we’re suffering again.”