Reaction: McCarthy responds to goalless draw at Wolves and speaks further about Aston Villa link

Christophe Berra with a second half header on goal from a corner at Wolves

Christophe Berra with a second half header on goal from a corner at Wolves

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy believes his team played much better today, but admits a goalless draw at Wolves has left his team needing back-to-back home wins against Charlton and Brentford in the coming week if they are to make the play-offs.

Having produced a string of insipid displays, which culminated in the team being booed off the field following a 1-0 home loss to Rotherham, Town were much-improved at Molineux this afternoon but couldn’t find a breakthrough.

That said, given that Wolves offered little going forwards and were shaky at the back, it felt like a major missed opportunity.

“Carl Ikeme made a great save off Pits (Brett Pitman), but considering the amount of ball that we had and the way that we played we didn’t work him often enough – that’s the only disappointing aspect of our performance today,” said Mccarthy, his team now five points adrift of sixth-placed Derby and three ahead of 10th-placed Preston.

“Thankfully we had a clean sheet. If you’re not going to win it, then make sure you don’t lose it.

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“We’ve got two home games now (Charlton on Tuesday, Brentford on Saturday) and I think we need to win them to stay in the mix. They won’t be easy games because they are two teams that are scrapping away. Charlton have certainly found a bit of form and it can get a bit nervy, like it did here today. Fans want to see better, I understand that, we all do.”

When it was out to him that his team had played much better than they had against Rotherham, the Blues boss replied: “I really didn’t like that Ipswich performance, it really disappointed me. What really p****s me off is it being mentioned when it doesn’t reflect my time at Ipswich and it doesn’t reflect our season. I get that it was a horrible result and a horrible performance and I really apologised to our fans for having to watch that.

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“I don’t think it’s necessary to talk about that today because I thought we played well. We’ve played well most of the season. We’ve had some bad’uns and we might have another bad’un, but that does not reflect my time at Ipswich. I don’t want that to be continually thrown in my face because it’s not a benchmark of what we’ve done this season.

“We played well today, but we’ve played worse and won games. I’d take having a scrap and winning, you know that. But I did appreciate how we played today.”

With Wolves fans ironically cheering each of their side’s rare attempts on goal and chanting ‘boring, boring, boring’ in the second half, McCarthy said: “It’s that time of the season. Fans want to see better. Ours did a fortnight ago and theirs did today. I understand that. You just have to try and play better and thankfully we did today.

“The fall-out from two weeks ago was unnecessary and I just treated it with the same contempt as I treat it when they are singing ‘Super Mick’, I have to be honest, because it can change so quickly. I really appreciate the support I’ve had here and we all want to win, I get that. I don’t want to subject to our fans to the kind of crap we dished up against Rotherham, believe me.”

Quizzed by the Midlands media about whether he had been approached by Aston Villa for their vacant managerial job, McCarthy said: “If I had I wouldn’t tell you – but I haven’t! I can’t help but feel it’s a compliment when clubs of that ilk think I’m doing a good job and I’m a good manager. Bear in mind I got two similar clubs promoted.”

Asked if the Villa job would be a poisoned chalice, he replied: “I’ve got a job here and there’s nothing I can do about whatever they are saying. I’m certainly not going to talk about what another job might entail. I’ve got to finish this off. We’ve got seven games and I want to get in the play-offs.

“I’m just answering your question. My focus is to get in the play-offs.”

– See Monday’s EADT for Blues reporter Stuart Watson’s big verdict.

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