Reaction: McCarthy says 0-0 at Blackburn is a display to build upon
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy hopes supporters look beyond the continuation of his team’s goal drought and focus on the positives from this afternoon’s 0-0 draw at fellow Championship strugglers Blackburn.
The Blues have now gone five games – and more than eight hours – without finding the net, but they posed a far greater attacking threat at Ewood Park this afternoon.
With his side now down to 17th in the table ahead of Tuesday night’s visit of Burton to Portman Road, McCarthy said: “The way we’ve been at Blackburn, for the last four visits (all defeats), we’ve been awful – so I’d have took anything away from Blackburn.
“We needed a performance and I thought I got that, I thought our fans got that performance. I’m disappointed because I thought we should have won the game to be honest with you. Jason Steele (keeper) gets man-of-the-match and probably deserves it.
“Could we have been better, more clincial? I don’t know. I don’t know what they (Blackburn) really contributed in the second half. I thought we were the better team. If anyone was going to win it, it was going to be us.”
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Steele made some good stops, one in particular from the outstanding Adam Webster, while Tom Lawrence and Luke Chambers missed decent chances. Ipswich, who have now kept four clean sheets in six, never looked like conceding.
In isolation, this wasn’t a bad away display. As part of the bigger picture, it adds to the uninspiring binary code scorelines of a dull 2016.
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“I would really love to get our fans back on side with me and with the team and be excited by us,” said McCarthy, who reverted to a 4-4-2 system with Freddie Sears up front alongside Leon Best.
“That was a start today. We’ve had more shots, more crosses and more attempts at goal than we have in the last two or three games.
“I hear people screaming ‘you should play 4-4-2 all the time’ – yeah, I know, good one. Maybe I’ll be the judge on what tactics I use because we’ve had chances wherever we’ve played in the past.
“I can’t do anything about the people who haven’t been here today. I just hope the ones who were go back and say ‘they played well today, I enjoyed it, we should have won, but didn’t’.
“The hardest thing in the game is putting the ball in the back of the net, but if we play like that, more often than not, we’ll win games.
“I think there have been plenty of other teams that have gone through this. The bigger you make it an issue, the bigger the issue becomes. Listen, we’re just having a bit of tough time, but we believe we’ll get out of it.”
On his decision to switch to a 4-4-2, he said: “They were two up as well, so it did leave it pretty wide open.
“I didn’t have two strikers to play up front (before today) anyway. Besty didn’t have much of a pre-season, so to put two up and get one injured and be knackered, I couldn’t risk it. This was the first time I’ve had two fit strikers for a while.
“Predominately throughout my career I’ve been 4-4-2 with two flying wingers – when I was at Sunderland, at Wolves and at Ireland. That’s the way I’ve played. I’d like to do that on a regular basis, but it has changed a bit the game.
“Nevertheless, we’ve got to try and create chances but still maintain that solidity. If you lose that it doesn’t matter what you do going forwards.”
– See Monday’s EADT and Ipswich Star for analysis, comment, ratings and reaction.