Reaction: McCarthy hails ‘ruthless’ Ipswich Town after 3-0 win at Charlton
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy said his side’s ruthlessness in both boxes was the key to a 3-0 victory at Charlton this lunchtime.
The Blues didn’t exactly dominate from start to finish but what they did do was take their chances at key moments – Daryl Murphy scoring twice (28 and 68) either side of a Freddie Sears goal in first-half stoppage-time.
At the other end a back four that has been criticised for conceding some soft goals this season battled throughout, while keeper Dean Gerken made three fine stops late on to ensure the Blues went away from The Valley with a clean sheet.
“I think the difference between the two sides was that we were ruthless in front of their goal and ruthless in front of our own goal when defending,” said McCarthy, whose side, now unbeaten in seven, have won three of their last four to close the gap on the play-off places.
“I thought the back four were great today and Gerks makes three magnificent saves. I’ve just said to him ‘well done, you were man-of-the-match and we won 3-0!’”
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Addicks interim boss Karel Fraeye felt the scoreline did not tell the whole story of the game and McCarthy concurred. He said: “I’ve been there myself when I think we should have won a game when we haven’t. They are a difficult outfit to play against. They play the diamond and they play it well.
“I thought the two young lads, (Ademola) Lookman and (Tareiq) Holmes-Dennis were good, as was (Jordan) Cousins. I thought there were some good performances from them.
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“I’d agree with him, I don’t think 3-0 does tell the whole story, but we were ruthless. We had a goalscorer (Murphy) who hadn’t scored for 13 games who has now scored six in three.
“There lies the difference. We put to bed the chances that we created and we did defend well today. I thought we defended really well.”
When it was put to McCarthy that some may have been wondering what had happened to Murphy until his recent return to goalscoring form, the Blues boss replied: “With good reason. When you score 27 goals and then don’t score for 13 people will think that. He came back late from pre-season having played in the summer with Ireland and it was a different challenge for him when he got back, playing alongside Freddie (Sears), whose been brilliant, and Brett (Pitman), whose been great.
“Brett has been a big part of Daryl getting back to form because I think he can share the load in terms of flick-ons and holding the ball up. Murph’s benefitted from that, but he’s also benefitted from our belief in him too.”
On Sears, who again put in an excellent shift on the wings, McCarthy said: “Freddie went and did his usual diligent selfless work, staying on the full-back. He just tracked him back and caused them all sorts of problems when chasing balls down the other end. He’s been selfless. He’s been a proper pro him.
“I’m more relived than he is that he’s scored his goal because I keep saying ‘well done Freddie, I love what you’re doing’, but he actually wants to score – and that’s what he did.”
McCarthy confirmed that Christophe Berra lost a tooth following an aerial duel but joked that ‘it won’t harm his looks’.
On the absence of Kevin Bru and Larsen Toure from the squad, he explained: “Kevin and Larsen both got injured in training. Kevin had a tight hamstring and Larsen had a sore groin yesterday so they weren’t any good for today, but hopefully will be alright for next week.”
Charlton interim boss Karel Fraeye said: “I think today all the statistics are in our favour except one (the scoreline). It’s unbelievable that we did not score in this game.
“The second and third goal we did not look too good ourselves, but this was a game where things were against us. (Johnnie) Jackson is the heart of our team and losing him (to a 13th minute injury) was a blow.
“The first goal is very important, for every team, and I think it should never have been allowed because there was a clear foul. I think that might be decisive. Then the timing of the second goal is very bad.”
– See Monday’s EADT and Ipswich Star for match analysis, comment and more reaction.