Reaction: McCarthy says 1-1 home draw with Bournemouth was ‘fair result’

Bournemouth's Kenwyne Jones celebrates scoring to level the game at 1-1

Bournemouth's Kenwyne Jones celebrates scoring to level the game at 1-1 - Credit: PA

Ipswich v Bournemouth: Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy admitted a point apiece was a fair result following this tea-time’s 1-1 home draw with fellow Championship promotion hopefuls AFC Bournemouth at Portman Road.

Freddie Sears’ emphatic sixth-minute finish gave Town the lead and then, after the Blues soaked up prolonged periods of pressure, Bournemouth mixed up their approach and levelled things up in the 82nd minute when debutant Kenwyne Jones headed home from a corner with his first touch.

“I can’t sit here in all honesty and say it’s not a fair result,” said McCarthy. “That said, of course I’m disappointed at conceding when we did. It was a hard game, we had to play well and defend well.”

He continued: “They’ve put a very, very, very expensive acquisition on who is pretty good in the air (Jones). I’ve just watched it again. Tommy Smith is head-to-head with him and it’s just one of those where sometimes you get a head on it and it flies in, sometimes you don’t. That’s what’s happened. He’s started to play a bit back I would say.

“For all the talk this week that we are a direct, long ball team and they’re quite the opposite, the irony is that the goal comes when they put somebody on and they launch it up to his head.

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“They got a corner kick from it and then they scored from it. You need to have Plan A and Plan B. There are all different ways of playing isn’t there? And I think they should all be respected to be honest.”

With several contenders for Town’s man-of-the-match, McCarthy said: “It’s nice when you have a good team performance. We’ve had to play well, defend well and work hard. As I’ve said, overall, I would say that 1-1 is fair. But when you get so close to winning it, and knowing what that would have done for us, it’s doubly disappointing.”

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Is automatic promotion now unlikely after Middlesbrough and Norwich both won in the earlier kick-offs?

“Probably, but I keep saying it is and it isn’t don’t I?” he replied “It changes every game. If the others keep winning then there’s nothing we can do about it. There’s nothing we can do but play our games and se what results we get.

“Bournemouth are, in my opinion, the best team in the division. We’ve played exceptionally well against them twice now (a 2-2 draw at Dean Court). Listen, I’m happy with a point. It’s another point to a total that we’ll end up with on May the second.

“If we end up in the play-offs by a point then we might look back and say ‘wow, what a save that was from Bart (Bilakowski) at the end’.

“Everybody always looks back and tells me what point cost us, well I prefer to look back and say maybe what point did it for us. This might be the one.

“I’ve read a lot this week about how we play, what we do and how we do it. All I think is that Ipswich has got a team to be proud of. We are a real threat to anybody that we play against. I can’t imagine anybody is sat thinking ‘great, we’ve got Ipswich to play next week’. That’s probably not the case.

“We’ve done well against all the teams towards the top. Let’s hope we can get in the play-offs and we can compete with them all again.”

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