Reaction: McCarthy hails Cole Skuse after midfielder ends his goal drought in 3-1 home win over Cardiff City

Ipswich Town FC v Cardiff FC.
Sky Bet Championship.
Cole Skuse scores for Town taking them to a 2-1

Ipswich Town FC v Cardiff FC. Sky Bet Championship. Cole Skuse scores for Town taking them to a 2-1 lead in the first half. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Ipswich v Cardiff: Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy hailed Cole Skuse after the midfielder ended his three-year goal drought in style during tonight’s 3-1 home win over Cardiff City.

The 29-year-old rifled home a 25-yard shot to raise the roof in what was a pulsating night at Portman Road.

That strike – his first in 82 appearances for the Blues and only the 10th of his career – made the score 2-1 after Freddie Sears’ opener was cancelled out by Eoin Doyle’s header. Daryl Murphy then sealed the victory in stoppage-time, coolly finishing after Skuse’s super pass.

With both Wolves and Brentford losing, Town have a three-point cushion in sixth place heading into Saturday’s lunchtime match at Molineux.

“I think Skusey, over the last two or three months, has taken his performances to a new level,” enthused McCarthy. “I think he’s been outstanding. Ever since he walked in the door he’s been absolutely inked in on that team-sheet. He’s an absolute star.

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“He’s much-maligned sometimes because he doesn’t score or provide that threaded pass. Well he’s done both tonight. What a great time to start doing that.

“His strike was magnificent, as was his presence of mind to put Murph in.”

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Asked if Skuse has taken any ribbing for his lack of goals, McCarthy joked: “Skusey is like an Exocet missile with his micky taking. You know it’s coming, you just don’t know when! He’s a silent assassin. He doesn’t get too much ribbing. He’s too cool.”

On Skuse’s celebration, the midfielder running to masseur James Pullen, McCarthy said: “I’m not sure what that was about. Maybe they have been chatting about it. I just ignored him when he came running in our direction. I knew he wasn’t running to me!

“Hunty (Stephen Hunt) did that at Charlton, came running over after scoring, and I blanked him. I think Balint Bajner thought he was running to him, but he got blanked! You do make yourself look a real chump if it’s not intended for you!”

McCarthy continued: “We might not be the best team in the league, but we’re certainly as tough an opponent as anyone will come up against. Certainly here.

“When we do it how we do it then we’re a real threat and tough to play against. A good team too.

“We’re all delighted. We’ve all just come in and seen the other results. It’s great. We’ve won two games and we go to Wolves on Saturday with a bit of a buffer. There’s a slap waiting for somebody on the last game of the season though, let me tell you. Let’s remain focussed on what we want to do.

“Maybe the dynamic has changed a bit for them because they now have to win that one I would say. It would be silly of us to go there and sit back and invite pressure though. We’re one of the best teams at hunting the ball and stopping people playing.”

Asked if Saturday’s game had been in the back of his mind for a while, given he was manager of Wolves previously, he said: “Not at all. I’m not like that. That’s not my bag.”

On Sears, who took his goal tally for Ipswich to eight, McCarthy said: “That’s a bit of gold dust really. He’s such a lovely guy too, so unassuming. He just gets on with it. I said to him yesterday; ‘yeah, your goals are great, that’s the icing’. But what I really like is that he works so bloody hard. I told him the moment he walked in the door that if you don’t run around you don’t play. And he certainly runs around.”

On the flashpoint between Tyrone Mings and Fabio da Silva, both players controversially booked after the Cardiff man had fouled Mings and then reacted wildly to something that was said, McCarthy added: “He was going to get booked for his tackle and then pushed him. Maybe he pushed Ty in the stomach!

“I prefer not to see players get sent off. I just don’t know why Ty got booked. It was sort of just for being involved. He was the one that had been sinned against. I just wish they’d get on with it and put the yellow card up instead of keeping people guessing as to what they’re going to do.

“Just say ‘you have one, you have one’, write in their book and get on with the game. Instead we all have to have this big performance with this spray and all that. I think they’re having a breather half the time. I thought that spray was a great idea at the time, now I think it’s a pain in the backside!”

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